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Statement by Sri Lanka delegation (by Mr. O.L. Ameerajwad, Counsellor) under Agenda item 7 (h) at Substantive Session of ECOSOC 2007 on 27 July 2007

Sri Lankan delegation states that the country has successfully managed to control and contain the HIV epidemic on 27th July 2007 under Agenda item 7 (h) at Substantive Session of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) held in Geneva.

Here is the full text of the Statement.

Statement by Sri Lanka delegation (by Mr. O.L. Ameerajwad, Counsellor) under Agenda item 7 (h) at Substantive Session of ECOSOC 2007 on 27 July 2007

Mr. President,

First of all let me thank the deligation of Thailand for introducing this resolution in thier capacity as Chair of UNAIDS PBC. This is an important and timely initiative. My delegation is pleased to join as one of the co-sponsors of this resolution.

Mr. President,

Sri Lanka has successfully managed to control and contain the HIV epidemic. We have been able to produce good health indicators, and effectively control communicable diseases some of which have reached elimination status. We are also responding to mitigate the effects on those who are already afflicted.

Twenty years after the first case of the disease was detected in my country, the island still has a low HIV prevalence rate. AIDS affects less than 0.1 percent of the general population, and less than one percent of high-risk groups.

The factors contributing to the low infection figures in Sri Lanka are comparatively low levels of casual sex, good access to health services, successful STD control programmes, low number of injecting drug users and the generally better social position of women.

At the National level the Government has undertaken many Programmes to prevent and control the spread ofHIV/AIDS in Sri Lanka. The policy of the government of Sri Lanka not only addresses HIV/AIDS prevention and care within a public health and clinical perspective, but also addresses other social, political, legal and economic factors that contribute to the spread of HIV/AIDS.

Mr. President.

HIV/AIDS poses one of the most formidable challenges to the development, progress and stability of our respective societies and the world at large. It requres regional as well as global coordination efforts to scale up sustainable and intensified HIV/AIDS rsponses.

In this conection, Sri Lanka is honoured to host the 8th International Aids Conference of Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP) next month from 19 to 23 in Colombo. The theme for the 8th ICAAP is “Waves of Change - Waves of Hope. Within this theme the 8th ICAAP aims to enhance the local, regional and global response to HIV/AIDS by creating an opportunity to achieve meaningful exchanges of expertise, experiences, advances, lessons learnt, challenges faced and successes achieved in HIV/AIDS programmes. Sri Lanka plans to make this Conference a grand success and a landmark event in our region. This Conference is expected to attract over 3000 foreign participants including Ministers of Health from the Asia Pacific region, officials in related field, representatives of NGOs, members of the civil society etc. More information regarding this Conference could be obtained from the website; www. icaap8.lk. This event shows our commitment on the issues at a time when we are as yet a low prevalence country.


Thank you

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