Sri Lanka officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an island country in South Asia, located in the Indian Ocean southwest of the Bay of Bengal and southeast of the Arabian Sea. It is geographically separated from the Indian subcontinent by the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait. Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte is its legislative capital, and Colombo is its largest city and centre of commerce.
Country Context: HIV in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is categorised as having a low HIV prevalence. According to 2017 data from the Ministry of Health’s National STI/AIDS Control Programme, there is an estimated 3500 people living with HIV. The highest number of cases are found in Colombo. At present, an estimated 68% of PLHIV know their status. Of those with a known positive status, just 37% are on antiretroviral treatment, and 34% have a suppressed viral load.
Among key populations, infections are highest among MSM (over 50%), and it is estimated that by 2024, over 80% of new infections will be amongst MSM.
Family Planning Association (FPA) Sri Lanka
Established in 1953, FPA Sri Lanka is a Member Association of the International Planned Parenthood Federation. Their mission is “to advocate sexual and reproductive health rights and provide services whilst maintaining sustainability and volunteerism to improve quality of life for all”. Contributing to the national HIV response in collaboration with the Sri Lankan Ministry of Health forms a core component of their mandate.
FPA Sri Lanka engages in service delivery, counselling, education and product provision (contraceptives, medicines etc). They maintain a strong connection with the community through their management of a network of 34 civil society organisations representing national level NGOs and community-based organisations carrying out peer-led HIV prevention interventions among key populations - including female sex workers, MSM, heroin users, “beach boys” and PLHIV.