Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) causes Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). It is a sexually transmitted illness. A person infected with HIV virus can stay in the body without causing the disease (AIDS) sometime. Since it is a sexually transmitted infection, people who want to get themselves tested may delay it due to the question of confidentiality. Failure to diagnose and treat HIV early may lead to serious consequences. However, there are various confidential methods to get these tests done in Sri Lanka.
It is important to detect HIV infection as early as possible. Even though labeled as a disease without a cure, early treatment can be helpful to lead a normal life despite having the infection. According to National AIDS Control Data, there are reported 4686 number of HIV infected cases in Sri Lanka at the end of second quarter of the year 2022.
There is a National STD/HIV Control Program (NSACP) in Sri Lanka. It has thirty-three branches spread throughout all the districts in Sri Lanka and they provide comprehensive care for sexually transmitted infections and HIV in the country. The services provided in these clinics are highly confidential and these clinics are usually situated separately from the main hospital premises as much as possible to secure the privacy of the patients. Hence, these STD clinics are one of the best places to go if anybody wishes to get tested. These clinics are run by highly trained staff in the field and all the services are free of charge.
It is important to test for other sexually transmitted infections if there is a suspicion of getting HIV. Usually, STD clinics offer this testing to all of their clients. These infections include Gonorrhoea, Chlamydia, Syphilis, Genital Herpes, Genital Warts, etc. Most of these illnesses have the treatment and can occur together.
Private hospitals in Sri Lanka also provide HIV testing facilities. However, it might cost some money. Usually, HIV testing is done on blood samples and you can get the tests done when you present to a private lab with a request from a doctor.
Home HIV Testing in Sri Lanka
This is the most recent and widely acceptable method to screen for HIV in Sri Lanka now. The National STD/HIV Control Program has launched this HIV Home Testing facility now and you can get down a test kit by calling the following number – 0716379192. This test is a self-test and is done on an oral secretion sample.
Watch the following video to see how Dr. Chithran Hathurusinghe who is a consultant in sexually transmitted infections explains about using this test kit to check for HIV.
According to the latest statistical data, the incidence of HIV infections is on the rise in Sri Lanka. Further, due to the economic crisis more and more people have chosen to provide their services as commercial sex workers.
It is important to prevent getting the infection in the first place. The most reliable way to avoid sexually transmitted infections is to avoid sex. Mutually monogamous sexual relationships (Sexual relationship with a single partner) in two individuals also carries zero risk of sexually transmitted infections. The use of condoms in a proper manner may also prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted infections. There is no vaccine for the prevention of HIV infection.
There are pre-exposure and post-exposure profylaxis treatments for HIV which can prevent infection from an infected person. If you have any suspiciousness or worry about getting infection after a needle prick injury, unsafe sexual encounter, or any other possible method, you can visit one of the STD clinics for help.
Please call National STD/HIV Control Program (+94 112 667 163) If you need more information about the HIV or STD testing facilties in Sri lanka. The head office of the National STD/HIV COntrol Program is situated at No 29, De Seram Place, Colombo 10.