Around 50 babies are among the 40,000 HIV positive persons found in Sri Lanka, and 31 of them - all aged below six years - have reached the full blown AIDS stage, said Dr. Ajith Karawita of the National STD/AIDS Control Program Sri Lanka.
All these babies have contracted HIV at birth from their mothers, he said.
Sri Lanka found its first HIV positive person in 1987, and since then, 182 have died of AIDS.
The country presently has 281 AIDS patients.
In the global context, there are 33.2 million HIV positive cases, and 2.9 million had died of AIDS last year alone, said Dr. Karawita.
World AIDS Day today (Dec. 01st), in its 20th year, is marked on the theme `Stop AIDS: Keep the promise.`