Pubdate: Sun, 28 Oct 2007
Source: Sunday Times, The (Sri Lanka)
Copyright: 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.
Author: Nadia Fazlulhaq
Bookmark: (Heroin)


Around 3500 Sri Lankans are living with HIV and the number is 
increasing rapidly as a newest trend of injecting drugs is becoming 
popular among many parties. Health Ministry STD/AIDS Control 
Programme National Director Dr. Nimal Edirisinghe told The Sunday 
Times that although there was a popular belief that injecting drugs 
was uncommon in Sri Lanka, at present it has been a major contributor 
to enhance the number of AIDS patients.

"There is a popular fashion among youth going to nightclubs and 
parties to inject drugs, which creates a high risk. As there is a 
shortage of heroin drug addicts seem to opt for injecting drugs. We 
also got to know that some prisoners too are getting injected with 
drugs and in most of these cases the same needle is being used a few 
times," he said.

According to Dr. Edirisinghe 8-10 new cases of HIV/AIDS have been 
reported recently."Up to now 931 persons have been diagnosed with 
HIV/AIDS. Although at present 99 percent of these cases are due to 
having unprotected sex, with injecting drugs becoming popular that 
too will play a major role in the near future. People should be 
educated in this regard," he said.
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