The National STD/AIDS Control Programme has called for the Rights of People with Diverse Sexual and Gender Identities to be recognized.

The said Right was also a recommendation proposed by the Public Representations Committee on Constitutional Reforms with regards to inclusion in the new Constitution.
It is important to identify and promote the rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender individuals, queer individuals, questioning individuals, intersex individuals, and asexual individuals.

Director of the Programme, Dr. Sisira Liyanage said that what they wanted must be given on par with international law and standards laid down in policies of organizations within the United Nations.

He highlighted that human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections were also reported from the MSM category and beach boys who work for foreigners.

“As of June 30, there have been 128 confirmed new HIV infections in the country, of which 70% are males who range between the ages of 25 to 49 whilst there are some in the 16 to 25 age group. The Districts of Colombo and Gampaha of the Western Province is at the top in terms of numbers while the Wayamba Province’s Kurunegala District comes second, followed by the Districts of Puttalam, Kandy and Galle elsewhere,” he said.

“Among men who have sex with men (MSM), HIV transmissions are increasing. This is more among male homosexuals. Even last year, around 50% of such transmissions were from the MSM category. The Government and non-governmental organizations must provide health education, supply condoms, get individuals down for testing, and if HIV positive provide treatment. Outreach programmes must be conducted for special groups who are reluctant to get tested. Although this is difficult to do in rural areas in the urban and suburban areas this must be started,” he explained. (RLJ)