LGBT people living in Sri Lanka may face unique legal and social challenges.
Sri Lanka family law does not recognize same-sex marriages or any similar sames-sex civil union.
LGBT people who have come out to their family often report being verbally or physically harassed.
The high levels of poverty, combined with the stigma associated with the disease and conservative cultural mores, has made it difficult to implement comprehensive prevention programs and to offer life-saving treatment to those people already infected.
Initially, during the late 1980s – 1990s, the Sri Lanka government tended to ignore the pandemic.
Article 365A prohibits anyone, irrespective of gender, from engaging in "gross indecency", which is not explicitly defined, although stiffer sanctions apply if one person is under the age of 16 or if any sort of injury was caused as a result.
In 1995, the criminal law was amended to expressly prohibit "gross indecency" no matter the gender of the participants.
Some private clinics in Sri Lanka claim to be able to "cure" patients of their homosexuality, although the World Health Organization does not view homosexuality, in itself, to be a mental illness.
Groups such as "Companions On A Journey" and "Equal Ground" are countering these claims with more accurate medical information.
This may have been because of the political instability in the government during the civil war, or because of the taboo nature of the pandemic scaring off government officials.