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Sexually Transmitted Diseases & Infections

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The National STD/AIDS Control Programme (NSACP) of the Ministry of Health is the main government organization which coordinate the national response to sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS in Sri Lanka. It collaborates with many national and international organizations such as the Global Fund to Fight Against AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM) and UN organizations while providing leadership and technical support to 34 island wide STD clinics and 23 ART centers.Furthermore, it provides quality STI and HIV laboratory services through a comprehensive laboratory network. National and subnational level monitoring and evaluation and surveillance are other important activities carried out by NSACP.

NSACP has achieved the task of providing best possible preventive and clinical services for key and vulnerable populations as well as for the general population. In addition, it supports the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) of Sri Lanka to provide clinical care for HIV infected individuals, which functions as an ART center as well as a center providing clinical care for HIV infected individuals, outside the NSACP in Sri Lanka. The NSACP is working towards Ending AIDS by 2025 and elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV and syphilis by 2019.


Country free of new HIV infections, discrimination and AIDS-related deaths.


Prevent new HIV and sexually transmitted infections and provide comprehensive care and treatment services.


  1. To prevent new infections of HIV/STI among key populations, vulnerable populations, and the general population
  2. To provide universal access to HIV/STI diagnosis and treatment, care and support services for those infected and affected by HIV/STI
  3. To strengthen strategic information systems and knowledge management for an evidence-based response
  4. To strengthen health systems at different levels and to ensure an effective multi-sector HIV/AIDS/STI response
  5. To provide a supportive environment for easy access and delivery of HIV prevention, diagnosis,treatment and care services for all

Main activities of the National STD/AIDS Control Programme

  1. Coordinating the national response to HIV epidemic
  2. Carrying out HIV prevention interventions
  3. Helping to create an enabling environment for STI and HIV prevention
  4. Provision of clinical services for sexually transmitted Infections and sexual health promotion
  5. Provision of treatment and care for people infected and affected by HIV
  6. Provision of laboratory services for STI and HIV diagnosis and management
  7. Condom promotion for STI and HIV prevention
  8. Provision of counseling services for STIs and HIV
  9. Prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV and syphilis
  10. Training and capacity building of health and non-health staff
  11. Carrying out HIV and STI surveillance
  12. Carrying out research in STI and HIV
  13. Carrying out Monitoring and evaluation of STI and HIV services
  14. Dissemination of Strategic information on STI and HIV

NSACP staff is comprised of the Director as the head of the institution and a Senior Management team, who regularly discuss issues and pioneer in taking necessary actions related to the national response.

History of STD/AIDS control in Sri Lanka

Control of venereal diseases (VD) in Sri Lanka dates back to few hundred years. History records that the first VD clinics were set up in 1886, in Colombo, Kandy and Galle. Even before that the Vagrance ordinance No 4 of 1841, the Contagious Disease Ordinance No 17 of 1867 and the Brothels Ordinance No5 of 1889 were passed in view of controlling venereal diseases. In 1878, Lock Wards were established in Colombo and Kandy to treat women. In 1920, late Sir Winston Churchill visited Ceylon and following this visit control measures were established in a more organised manner and the Ceylon National Council for the control of VD was established. In 1921, a clinic was opened in the Colombo Port for the benefit of sailors. In 1928, Ceylon was a signitory to the Brussels agreement to provide treatment for sailors.

Since 1952, measures to control venereal diseases in Ceylon were the responsibility of the Anti VD Campaign. Control of venereal diseases were in existance for a nearly hundred years and in 1949, at the request of the Government of Ceylon, the World Health Organization made available to us the services of a venereal disease consultant, Professor George Leiby. Thereafter under the leadership of Dr S M Laird a venereal disease control team arrived in July 1951 to plan a coordinated programme for Sri Lanka and the Anti Venereal Disease Campaign was established in 1952. Apart from strengthening clinic services, the WHO team recommended certain strtaegies. Since 1952, routine prenatal and pre employment blood screening was introduced. In 1953, another routine examination that of blood testing of all admissions to the Eye Hospital Colombo was commenced. These strategies have helped in controlling venereal diseases in Ceylon.

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