Sri Lanka in alarm: the number of Aids cases increases
by Melani Manel Perera
Nearly 1,400 cases in the second half of 2011, at least two or three a week. Female prostitution (more than 8,000 women) and homosexual prostitution are the environments most at risk. In Asia, there are 10 million sex workers, and 75 million male clients. 5,000 people die every day of the virus.
Colombo (AsiaNews) - Two to three new cases of HIV/AIDS are discovered per week, for a total of 1,388 cases in the second half of 2011; about 250 people have died from the disease since 1986, the year of the first episode of infection; at least 40,000 sex workers, of which more than 8,000 are women. An "alarming" trend, according to Sarojani Perera, director of research and programs of the AIDS Foundation of Lanka (AFL), which requires the entire society of Sri Lanka to intervene.
In the country, the growing incidence of the disease was recorded particularly among women and girls involved in prostitution rings, despite it being illegal. Poverty, illiteracy and ignorance remain the most common factors driving women who enter the sex trade. But "new factors", highlights Perera, "have emerged in recent years: a different attitude towards sex, migration, globalization, industries of hospitality, desire to have promiscuous relations".
According to the Asian Commission on Aids, in Asia there are 10 million sex workers and 75 million male clients. Every day about 5,000 people die from the virus. The Global Summary of the AIDS Epidemic shows that approximately 1.8 million people worldwide had lost their lives to this illness by the end of 2009.