A five-year national strategic plan will be implemented from 2018 onwards by the National STD / AIDS Control Programme with the view of eradicating AIDS by 2025.
Director of the Programme, Dr. Sisira Liyanage said that the roadmap in this regard is currently being prepared and at present external evaluation programmes are being conducted in relation to the matter. The preparation will end by November this year and will be implemented from 2018 onwards.
The said plan which will be from 2018 to 2022 will be formulated based on criteria laid down by the World Health Organization (WHO) and would be part and parcel of achieving the particular Sustainable Development Goal pertaining to the matter.
According to Dr. Liyanage, the testing of blood for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) will be done targeting the investigation and screening of key populations such as men who have sex with men (MSMs), female sex workers (FSWs), intravenous drug users, school children, youth, drivers (taxis, three wheelers), garment factory workers, construction site labourers, and Indian and Chinese nationals working in the country.
With regard to the elimination of mother to child HIV transmission, pregnant mothers are being tested and in 2016, 16 pregnant mothers were detected with HIV yet following medical treatment the virus was not transmitted to the babies and they were therefore not infected. The Programme and the Ministry of Health will soon be seeking validation from the WHO for the elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV and syphilis.