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Ostracised By AIDS

Jan 1, 2011 1:33:23 PM - thesundayleader.lk

Hemas Hospital, Wattala organized a series of activities to commemorate World AIDS Day and create awareness among the people on the need to be conscious of the dangers of the disease.
A Red Ribbon campaign was organized and a candle was lit to remember millions of human beings who died of this disease. Two HIV infected persons related their life stories to the hospital staff during a special programme held at the hospital.
They described the problems they faced due to lack of awareness on HIV and AIDS in society. They highlighted the discrimination they faced at their workplaces resulting in them even losing their jobs and also the callous attitude of personnel at medical institutions. There was discrimination and abuse from peers and teachers towards the non-infected children of HIV infected people.
Threats and abuses from neighbours forced them to leave their villages. One of the victims even had her house set on fire while she was inside with her two daughters.
The speakers stressed that these incidents happened due to the lack of awareness by the public on how HIV is transmitted. Explaining how HIV is transmitted, Dr, Shreen Willathgamuwa, Medical Officer in charge of “Suwatha Piyasa,” Hemas Hospital’s health screening centre said that it was through sexual relationships, through blood transfusions or from mother to the child at child birth. Touching, hugging or sharing a cup with an infected person would not transmit HIV to another. As a further step the Hospital staff collected funds to support HIV infected children. Hemas Hospitals is a Hemas Holdings subsidiary. Hemas is one of Sri Lanka’s leading conglomerates with a focus on five key sectors-FMCG, Healthcare, Transportation, Leisure and Power Generation.