Health authorities in the Anuradhapura district are perturbed by the increase in HIV infected cases and the death rate has reached alarming proportions.
Senior Medical Officer of the Anuradhapura Sexual Health Services Centre Dr. Hema Weerakoon said 24 HIV infected individuals have been identified during the past nine months of the year and out of the 24 infected, four had died.
She said the rate of HIV infections in the district reported this year was the highest when compared to the previous years.
Dr. Weerakoon pointed out that seven of them were men who had fallen prey to the disease due to homosexual relations.
“The number of patients reported this year has increased by more than 100% when compared to the previous year. The number of patients identified last year was ten and it has increased to 24 this year. There could be more patients who are yet to be identified. About 300 female sex workers have registered for periodical blood tests. Majority of them are from distant areas. Meanwhile, about 25% of the expatriates have contracted HIV,” she said.
The medical officer further said that tests on blood samples carried out before transfusion, revealed that 20% of blood donors were HIV infected. (Dayaratne Embogama)
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