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Experts recently said that most patients affected by Sexually Transmissible Infections (STI) are reported to be those who have contracted the disease having indulged in casual sex. This observation was made during an event held in Colombo recently.

“Most patients who come to us have not engaged with sex workers, they have been engaged in casual sex,” Dr Harischandra Yakandawala of the World Health Organization said at the launch of Preethi Hot and Cold and Easy glide delay. Accordingly, the first time the act of casual sex takes place in an unprotected manner which makes it vulnerable for them to be infected by STIs.

Dr. Yakandawala attributes this to the wrong perception of the society towards condoms. “The main reason for this is the negative perceptions and the social stigma that surrounds condoms,” he said.

Such incidents have triggered a compelling necessity for sexual education and raising awareness on preventing sexually transmittable infections.

“In Sri Lanka, the main method of HIV transmission is through sexual acts. The common case is where one partner engages in casual sex and then infecting the spouse through unprotected sexual activity. Infection via male to male sex is also showing an increasing trend,” commented Thushara Agus, Executive Director of The Family Planning Association of Sri Lanka to Nation. Dr. Dayanath Ranatunga, Country Manager of UNAIDS said to Nation that the prevalence of HIV in Sri Lanka is low in the country at the moment.

However, there is a slight increase in 2014 with 228 reported cases, while in 2015 there were 236 reported cases. 65% of these cases were reported from Western province. “This is due to liberal behaviour that comes with urbanization, high population density of the country and infected people from peripheral areas coming to Colombo for clinics,” Dr. Ranatunga elaborated.

The Family Planning Association (FPA) and the National STD and AIDS control programme (NSACP) would be installing 15 condom dispenser machines at selected locations to popularize the use of condoms and to further reduce the spread of STIs in Sri Lanka.
The FPA last week launched their new products Preethi Hot and Cold and Easy glide delay. They are manufactured by the Karex Industries of Malaysia and are produced according to ISO 4074-2014 Standards as well as the ASTM D3492-2014 of the United States.

“These condoms would assist in the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases,” Dr Yakandawala said.

Sex education is considered a need in Sri Lanka in this day and age where all age groups are exposed to information. Unlike previous generations, the current generation is privy to information pertaining to sexual activities and the risks that come along with them.

HIV scare in Kurunegala
Education on sex and sex related issues has once again become the topic following a recent incident where a school in Kurunegala was closed for three days after a false rumour spread that one of its students had contracted HIV.

A special meeting was held at the school on Wednesday (2) where officials attached to the AIDS Prevention Unit, medical officials and Human Rights officials briefed the parents of the other students on HIV.

It was reported that even though it was found that the student was not infected by the disease, the parents of other students had threatened the mother of the said student and the teachers to not to allow him to be called back to school.