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Sri Lanka, committing to championing the AIDS response

<p>Feature story</p>

June 20, 2013

The President of Sri Lanka has reaffirmed the country's commitment to be "a champion in the AIDS response" towards achieving a shared vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths.

"Sri Lanka is fully committed to health and to being a champion in the AIDS response," said President Rajapaksa. "It is time to act. We will continue our efforts to support communities and people living with HIV."

Meeting with the UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director, Programme, Luiz Loures, H.E., President Mahinda Rajapaksa, stressed how inclusive approaches for and with people living with HIV as well as an increased focus on social protection are critical elements of the on-going Sri Lanka's AIDS response.

Sri Lanka has shown impressive progress on ensuring free access to treatment for all people in need," said Dr Loures. "We urge efforts to be continued, focused and scaled up, and for Sri Lanka to play a leadership role within the regional and global response to AIDS."

The President also announced his commitment to take the issue of increasing access to health, development and responding to HIV, tuberculosis and malaria forward to the Commonwealth Summit that Sri Lanka will host in November 2013.

National HIV prevalence remains relatively low in Sri Lanka, estimated at 0.1% and, through support from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Sri Lanka provides free access to HIV treatment for all eligible people.