Venereologist Dr. Daya Wattearachchi addressing a meeting to mark
the World AIDS Day 2004 in Ratnapura said that although there were 591 cases of
HIV on record of 7,200 was closer to the truth. The meeting was organised by a
number of volunteer organisations in Sabaragamuwa Province.
She said that the Sabaragamuwa Province 20 or 3% of the total HIV
cases reported. The highest number of infected of amounting to a total 63% are in
the Western Province and the lowest recorded number of 1% is from Uva Province.
Over 95% were infected through unprotected sexual relationships
and 3% from mother to child while only 1% from blood transfusions, she said.
Hospitals countrywide carry HIV out tests free of charge, Dr.
Wattearachchi said. People who follow risky behavioural lifestyles should have
their blood tested regularly, she said.
The meeting was attended by the Provincial Council members Janaka
Wakkumbura, Samitha Attigale, Iflar M. Yehiyya, Ratnapura Mayor Nimal Dayawansa,
SSP Devasiri Malimbada.