Press Release: Grindr’s disclosure of user’s HIV status without permission was unacceptable

PRESS RELEASE – Tuesday 3rd April 2018

Grindr’s disclosure of user’s HIV status without permission was unacceptable

As Grindr finally reversed its decision to share, without permission, its users’ HIV status with third parties, Niall Mulligan, Executive Director of HIV Ireland stated today that ‘While Grindr’s ultimate response to this unwarranted disclosure is welcome, the situation of disclosing a person’s HIV status without their permission should never have occurred in the first place. Disclosing one’s HIV status is a private decision. People who share their HIV status on Grindr are making a personal choice to share information with other Grindr users only. Grindr must now win back the trust of its users by ensuring this decision to cease disclosing their user’s HIV status to third parties holds fast.’

HIV Ireland is calling on all social media outlets to ensure their users are fully aware of the potential use of all data they are providing in order for them to make an informed choice as to what personal information to share or not. This is crucial given the stigma that attaches for people living with HIV in Ireland, and the potential risks to their employment and personal life that continue to be a serious problem in our society.

For information about HIV, testing, safer sex and support please visit – www.hivireland.ie; www.man2man.ie; www.positivenow.ie

End

For further information, please contact:

Niall Mulligan,

Executive Director

HIV Ireland

70 Eccles Street

Dublin 7

Mobile:  085 7457951

Tel: 01 8733799

Email: niall.mulligan@hivireland.ie

HIV Ireland welcomes High Court Decision on HIV Disclosure

HIV Ireland welcomes High Court Decision on HIV Disclosure

High Court Refuses Permission to Child & Family Agency to Force Teenager to Disclose His HIV Status

Monday 12th March 2018

In an unprecedented situation for an Irish court, the High Court was recently tasked with deciding whether a Doctor can disclose the HIV status of a patient, without their consent, to another person who the doctor believes is having unprotected sex with the patient. The case, involving a teenager in care who has been living with HIV since birth, and another unnamed teenager, was brought by the Child & Family Agency.

The court concluded the extremely low possibility (0.04%) of HIV being transmitted in this case, and the fact that HIV is not a terminal illness, did not justify a breach of patient confidentiality, a cornerstone of the doctor/patient relationship.

Responding to the decision of the High Court, Mr. Niall Mulligan, Executive Director of HIV Ireland said, ‘We welcome this decision of the High Court not to force a teenager living with HIV to disclose his status against his will. HIV is a manageable, treatable illness. We know that people living with HIV, who are compliant with their treatment, and have an undetectable viral load cannot pass the virus on to someone else. The onus is on all of us to take responsibility for our own sexual health. We encourage everyone to use condoms, to avail of regular sexual health testing, and to be informed of the risks involved in having unprotected sex.’

Mr. Mulligan also pointed out the crucial importance in highlighting the need for policy makers, politicians, and the public to understand the impact HIV related stigma has on the lives of people living with HIV. Referencing HIV Irelands National HIV & Stigma Survey 2017, Mr. Mulligan stated:

‘When 17% of people living with HIV report having felt suicidal in 2017, it’s time to open our eyes to the damage that HIV related stigma is having on people’s lives. Among those living with HIV, the research found that a quarter are not comfortable with their own HIV positive status, over a half are single, and a third had experienced being rejected in a relationship due to their HIV status. Forcing someone to disclose they are living with HIV only perpetuates the stigma that currently exists in Ireland’.

For information about HIV, testing, safer sex and support please visit – www.hivireland.ie; www.man2man.ie; www.positivenow.ie

End
For further information, please contact:
Niall Mulligan,
Executive Director
HIV Ireland
70 Eccles Street
Dublin 7
Mobile: 085 7457951
Tel: 01 8733799
Email: niall.mulligan@hivireland.ie
www.hivireland.ie
HIV Ireland Information

HIV Ireland is a registered charity operating at local, National and European level. The principal aim of the organisation is to improve, through a range of support services, conditions for people living with HIV and AIDS and/or Hepatitis, their families and their caregivers while further promoting sexual health in the general population.

Our mission and vision is to contribute towards a significant reduction in the incidence and prevalence of HIV in Ireland and towards the realisation of an AIDS-free generation by advocating for individuals living with HIV, preventing new HIV infections and combating HIV-related stigma and discrimination.

Since 1987 HIV Ireland has been pioneering services in sexual health education and promotion, and has consistently engaged in lobbying and campaigning in the promotion of human rights. Our approach broadly reflects a harm minimisation model which emphasises practical rather than idealised goals. In relation to practical service provision we currently operate under two headings:

a) Community Support

• Counselling
• 1-1 Support
• Advocacy
• Community Outreach Work
• HIV & STI Community Testing
• Capacity Building with People Living with HIV

b) Prevention, Education & Training

• One day workshops on HIV, STI’s and Sexual Health
• Sexual Health Training for Trainers Programme (Let’s Talk About….Safer Sex)
• Free Condom Service (Just Carry One Campaign)
• Social Media work and campaigning
• Network Involvement

HIV Ireland ‘welcomes’ availability of PrEP in Ireland

Press Release, 1st December 2017

HIV Ireland ‘welcomes’ availability of PrEP in Ireland

‘PrEP is a crucial HIV prevention medication that can significantly reduce new HIV infections, but it needs to be available to everyone, not just those people who can afford it’

The announcement by TEVA Pharmaceutical Company that it will be introducing Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) to Ireland from Monday 4th December has been welcomed by HIV Ireland. With Ireland facing the prospect that new HIV diagnoses will top 500 for the second year in a row, the introduction of PrEP could be a real gamechanger when it comes to the prevention of HIV transmission.

PrEP is a once daily medication that, in combination with safer-sex practices, has been proven to significantly reduce the risk of sexually acquired HIV-1 infection among uninfected adults at high risk, and has contributed to a 40% decrease in new HIV diagnoses in several clinics in London alone.

Niall Mulligan, Executive Director of HIV Ireland welcomed the news from TEVA as ‘a step in the right direction’ but warned that ‘even at a reduced cost of approximately €100 per month it remains out of reach for many people who would benefit from PrEP. We renew our call on the Government to make PrEP available to all people who need it, and not allow price to be a barrier’.

For information about HIV, testing, safer sex and support please visit – www.hivireland.ie; www.man2man.ie; www.positivenow.ie

End

 For further information, please contact:

Niall Mulligan,

Executive Director

HIV Ireland

70 Eccles Street

Dublin 7

 

Mobile:  085 7457951

Tel: 01 8733799

Email: niall.mulligan@hivireland.ie

www.hivireland.ie

 

Press Release 30th November: 2017 New HIV Diagnoses Set to be Highest on Record

Press Release 30th November 2017

2017 New HIV Diagnoses Set to be Highest on Record

‘With an average of 10 new HIV diagnoses per week for the second year in a row, Ireland is gripped within a HIV crisis that shows no sign of abating’ 

On World AIDS Day 2017, Ireland is facing the real prospect that new HIV diagnoses will top 500 for the second year in a row. To date, provisional figures for 2017 indicate there have been 450 new HIV diagnoses in Ireland, similar to this time last year, when a total of 508 people were newly diagnosed as living with HIV [www.hpsc.ie]. If this trend continues in 2017, Ireland is likely to experience one of the highest numbers of new HIV diagnoses on record.

On Friday, December 1st, President Michael D. Higgins will host a reception at Aras an Uachtaráin to mark World AIDS Day, to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of HIV Ireland, and to pay tribute to all people and organisations working to prevent the spread of HIV, both home and abroad.

 

The global theme for World AIDS Day 2017 is ‘Right to Health – Making it Happen’. The right to health campaign promotes the right of everyone to free HIV testing, the right of people living with HIV to be free of the stigma that often accompanies a HIV diagnosis, an end to HIV transmission, and an end to the isolation that can be a result of living with HIV.

 

Speaking in advance of the event, Mr. Bernard Condon (SC), Chairperson of HIV Ireland said ‘The national and international response to the AIDS crisis is built on the fundamental right to health and well-being of all people. World AIDS Day acts as an important reminder of the human rights of all people living with HIV, and the challenges they often face in fulfilling these rights. It is incumbent upon all of us to ensure these rights are never forgotten’.

 

To mark World AIDS Day 2017, and HIV Irelands 30th Anniversary, Niall Mulligan, the Executive Director of HIV Ireland said Thirty years on from the early days of our organisation, the landscape has changed dramatically, with people diagnosed with HIV now living longer and healthier lives. It is now scientifically accepted that people living with HIV who are compliant with treatment, and have an undetectable viral load, will not pass on HIV to sexual partners. However, as we witness a consistent rise in the number of people being newly diagnosed in Ireland with HIV, it is clear we need to be significantly more proactive in our response to this growing crisis. HIV Ireland calls on the Government to prioritise community based HIV testing, the availability of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) within Ireland as a proven method of preventing HIV transmission, and a greater emphasis on counselling and support for people living with HIV.”.    

 

For information about HIV, testing, safer sex and support please visit – www.hivireland.ie; www.man2man.ie; www.positivenow.ie

 

End

 

For further information, please contact:

 

Niall Mulligan,

Executive Director

HIV Ireland

70 Eccles Street

Dublin 7

 

Mobile:  085 7457951

Tel: 01 8733799

Email: niall.mulligan@hivireland.ie

www.hivireland.ie

 

HIV Ireland Information

 

HIV Ireland is a registered charity operating at local, National and European level. The principal aim of the organisation is to improve, through a range of support services, conditions for people living with HIV and AIDS and/or Hepatitis, their families and their caregivers while further promoting sexual health in the general population.

 

Our mission and vision is to contribute towards a significant reduction in the incidence and prevalence of HIV in Ireland and towards the realisation of an AIDS-free generation by advocating for individuals living with HIV, preventing new HIV infections and combating HIV-related stigma and discrimination.

 

Since 1987 HIV Ireland has been pioneering services in sexual health education and promotion, and has consistently engaged in lobbying and campaigning in the promotion of human rights. Our approach broadly reflects a harm minimisation model which emphasises practical rather than idealised goals. In relation to practical service provision we currently operate under two headings:

 

  1. Community Support

 

  • Counselling
  • 1-1 Support
  • Advocacy
  • Community Outreach Work
  • HIV & STI Community Testing
  • Capacity Building with People Living with HIV

 

  1. Prevention, Education & Training

 

  • One-day workshops on HIV, STI’s and Sexual Health
  • Sexual Health Training for Trainers Programme (Let’s Talk About….Safer Sex)
  • Free Condom Service (Just Carry One Campaign)
  • Social Media work and campaigning
  • Network Involvement

Press Release – 28th October 2017: Support My Legacy Week for HIV Ireland

In this, our 30th Anniversary year, HIV Ireland is joining together with over 50 charities around Ireland to appeal to the public to leave a legacy gift, large or small, to charity in their will.

Niall Mulligan, Executive Director with HIV Ireland said “When people choose to leave a legacy donation to HIV Ireland they are both supporting our work with people who are living with HIV, and supporting our work in trying to prevent HIV transmission in the first place. We are always extremely grateful for the day to day support we receive from individuals and families across Ireland who care passionately about our work. What many people don’t know is they can also ensure our good work will continue, by leaving a legacy of kindness and support in their will.”

Fergal O’Sullivan, Chairperson of My Legacy said “First and foremost, when you’re making your will, look after your family and loved ones. After that, you might want to consider leaving a legacy gift to a cause you feel strongly about or have an affinity with and you decide what that gift is. Large or small, a charity will appreciate your thoughtfulness and remembrance.”

You can learn more about leaving a gift to charity, and find a local participating solicitor for My Legacy Week online at www.mylegacy.ie

ENDS

For more information please call:

Niall Mulligan,

Executive Director

HIV Ireland

70 Eccles Street

Dublin 7

Mobile:  085 7457951

Tel: 01 8733799

Email: niall.mulligan@hivireland.ie

 

Notes to Editor

About MyLegacy.ie

My Legacy was established in 2003 by a small group of Irish charities who knew the great impact a legacy gift can have on their work. They know that Irish people tend to put off making a will despite how important a life document it is and how easy it is to do. Since then, My Legacy has grown to an umbrella group of over 50 Irish charities asking people to consider leaving a legacy gift to a charity or cause they feel strongly about, after family and loved ones have been looked after and all other important personal decisions have been made. My Legacy provides unbiased, useful information to individuals, charities and solicitors about leaving legacy gifts to charities. My Legacy does not solicit specific gifts or legacies for individual organisations.

HIV Ireland Information

HIV Ireland is a registered charity operating at local, National and European level. The principal aim of the organisation is to improve, through a range of support services, conditions for people living with HIV and AIDS and/or Hepatitis, their families and their caregivers while further promoting sexual health in the general population.

Our mission and vision is to contribute towards a significant reduction in the incidence and prevalence of HIV in Ireland and towards the realisation of an AIDS-free generation by advocating for individuals living with HIV, preventing new HIV infections and combating HIV-related stigma and discrimination.

Since 1987 HIV Ireland has been pioneering services in sexual health education and promotion, and has consistently engaged in lobbying and campaigning in the promotion of human rights. Our approach broadly reflects a harm minimisation model which emphasises practical rather than idealised goals.

HIV Ireland calls for Government action as national survey finds stigma continues to impact on people living with HIV

Press Release – 28th September 2017

HIV Ireland calls for Government action as national survey finds stigma continues to impact on people living with HIV

17 per cent of HIV positive people say they have felt suicidal in the last year.

HIV Ireland is calling on the Government to provide additional resources for HIV prevention, education and care after its ‘HIV in Ireland Survey 2017’ revealed the impact that stigma continues to have on people living with the condition in this country. The survey, one of the most significant pieces of research on stigma and HIV knowledge to be carried out in Ireland in over a decade, will be launched this morning (28.09.17) at HIV Ireland’s 30th Anniversary National Conference on HIV and Stigma. Among its findings are that 17 per cent of people living with HIV said they felt suicidal in the last year; a quarter are not comfortable with their own HIV positive status; more than half are single, and a third had experienced being rejected in a relationship due to their HIV status.

Commenting, HIV Ireland’s executive director, Niall Mulligan said: “This survey is of crucial importance in highlighting the need for policy makers and politicians to understand the impact that HIV-related stigma is having on people living with the condition. When 17 per cent of people living with HIV say they have felt suicidal in the last year, compared to a national average of four per cent, it’s time to open our eyes to the damage that HIV-related stigma is having on people’s lives. The Government urgently needs to provide additional resources within the areas of HIV prevention, education, community testing, counselling, mediation and human rights advocacy.”

The ‘HIV in Ireland 2017 Survey’ was undertaken to identify levels of knowledge, and attitudes to HIV, within the whole population, as well as recording the experiences of people living with HIV. Some 1,013 people responded to the general survey and 168 people responded to the survey specifically for people living with HIV.

Among the general population, the research found varying degrees of knowledge about HIV. Younger people were found to have less correct knowledge than older people, though they were also more likely to be welcoming of someone living with HIV.

Key findings in the survey include:

  • 98 per cent of respondents correctly thought that HIV can be transmitted by sharing needles or syringes, and a similar percentage were aware it can be passed on through sex without a condom.
  • 20 per cent of 18-to-24-year olds incorrectly thought HIV can be passed from person to person through the sharing of a public toilet seat (compared to 10% of those over 24).
  • 24 per cent of people incorrectly believe that HIV can be transmitted by kissing, while 11 per cent incorrectly thought it could be transmitted through coughing or sneezing.
  • 10 per cent of people stated that they wouldn’t feel comfortable working with a colleague who was HIV positive.
  • 54 per cent of people living with HIV are single.
  • 98 per cent of respondents agreed that ‘young people should be taught about HIV transmission during secondary school’.

HIV stigma affects the wider community according to Mr Mulligan. “Negative, or misinformed attitudes to HIV, and towards people living with HIV, can create obstacles for people getting tested. UNAIDS estimates that across Europe, 15 per cent of people living with HIV aren’t aware of their condition. It is crucial that we remove as many barriers as possible to people getting tested. Stigma is one of those barriers”.

He added: “This conference marks the 30th anniversary of HIV Ireland. In the ’80s and ’90s during the AIDS epidemic there was much fear, misinformation and indignity for people living with HIV. Thirty years on, with the continued improvements in HIV treatment, the landscape has changed dramatically, with people diagnosed with HIV now living longer and healthier lives. It is now scientifically accepted that people living with HIV who are compliant with treatment, and have an undetectable viral load, will not pass on HIV to sexual partners. This survey gives us hope for the future when we see increased interest in HIV education within our schools, and a strong acceptance of people living with HIV. In particular, the survey findings highlight the need for increased resources to meet the needs of people living with HIV.”

The conference will be opened by Minister of State at the Department of Health with responsibility for Health Promotion and the National Drugs Strategy, Catherine Byrne TD. She said: “I commend the work that HIV Ireland has undertaken over the past 30 years, and want to pay tribute to all the staff and volunteers at the heart of the organisation. Last year alone, HIV Ireland supported more than 2,000 interventions for people living with HIV. The Government through the HSE continues to provide annual funding to HIV Ireland for the important work that it undertakes in the areas of support for people living with HIV and for the promotion of sexual health in the general population.’

“However, I am concerned about the continuing increase in new HIV diagnoses, and I’m aware that the late diagnosis of HIV continues to be an issue. This is one of the reasons why the Government provided funding to pilot KnowNow Rapid Testing, a peer-led point-of-care HIV testing initiative in pubs and clubs as part of the National Sexual Health Strategy. Along with the National Drugs Strategy, the ongoing implementation of the National Sexual Health Strategy reaffirms the commitment of the Department of Health to continue to support the work of community organisations like HIV Ireland in their response to increasing HIV figures.”

The one-day conference will explore the history of HIV, stigma and social inclusion in addiction, homelessness, sex work, the LGBT community, the migrant community, and people living with HIV in Ireland since 1987. Speakers include LGBT campaigner Tonie Walsh; Dr Maeve Foreman of Trinity College Dublin; Dr Austin O’Carroll of SafetyNet; Kate McGrew of the Sex Workers Alliance of Ireland, and Tony Duffin of the Ana Liffey Drug Project. Founder of the Irish NAMES Project, Mary Shannon will present the story behind the Irish AIDS Quilt, made by families affected by HIV in Ireland.

Further information on the conference and survey findings is available at www.hivireland.ie.

ENDS.

Contact: Joanne Ahern / Louise Archbold, DHR Communications, Tel: 01-4200580 / 087-9881837 / 087-2601145.

Notes to Editors:

  • Interviews available on request.
  • Photographer Nick Bradshaw will issue photos to picture desks on Thursday afternoon.
  • The ‘HIV in Ireland 2017’ report comprises the findings from two surveys, conducted between March and May 2017. The general population survey was disseminated by Empathy Research as part of an omnibus survey amongst members of their proprietary research panel and was representative of gender, age and location in Ireland. Survey respondents were required to be at least 18 years of age and the survey was completed by 1,013 people (margin of error +/- 3.2 per cent). The People Living with HIV Stigma Survey was designed by Quality Matters and disseminated through social media channels, through HIV support agencies and health services. Survey respondents were required to be at least 18 years of age and to have received a diagnosis of HIV infection. The survey was completed by 168 respondents.

 

LGBT activist calls for national AIDS memorial

PRESS RELEASE

 

Sunday, 24th September 2017

 

LGBT activist calls for national AIDS memorial

 

LGBT activist Tonie Walsh has called on the Government to fund an Irish AIDS Memorial to honour those who have died from AIDS in Ireland, as well as their caregivers and activists. Mr Walsh will outline his vision at this week’s HIV Ireland National Conference on HIV and Stigma. The conference, which marks the 30th anniversary of HIV Ireland, will take place at Smock Alley Theatre in Dublin on Thursday, 28th September 2017.

 

Speaking ahead of the conference, Mr Walsh said: “More than 35 million people have died from AIDS worldwide, and unfortunately, people are still dying of AIDS. I am calling on the Government to support a permanent and prominent national AIDS memorial to remember those who have died, but also to acknowledge those who have worked to improve their lives.

 

“A place of memory is so important for the mobilisation of a community and of our society, as memorialising our loss and grief allows us to better value and share the coping mechanisms and survival strategies of a previous generation. In seeking a national AIDS memorial, I look to cities such as Toronto, New York, and Durban, which all have visually striking memorials.”

 

He added: “I would like to see a consultation process of stakeholders in civil society regarding the design, procurement and siting of the monument. With due process, and the goodwill of Government and the public sector, I would hope this physical totem could become a reality within the next five years.”

 

Mr Walsh, who is the curator of Irish Queer Archive, is also seeking the digitisation and open access of archives of HIV Ireland, GAY Health Action and HIV/ AIDS-related documents held in the collections of the Irish Queer Archive at the National Library of Ireland. A selection of archive material will be on display at the conference on Thursday.

 

Supporting the call for a national AIDS memorial, Executive Director of HIV Ireland, Niall Mulligan said: “Nearly 8,000 people in Ireland have been diagnosed with HIV since the early 1980s, and while improvements in treatment have greatly enhanced people’s life expectancy and their quality of life, significant stigma still exists around being HIV positive. A recent survey we conducted among people living with HIV in Ireland found more than half of those polled had not disclosed their HIV status at some point as they were afraid they would be discriminated against.

 

“A national AIDS memorial would recognise the lives lost, the grief and sorrow of those left behind, as well as acting as a reminder that there is still work to do to eliminate new HIV infections in Ireland, and combatting HIV-related stigma and discrimination.”

 

The one-day conference will explore the history of HIV, stigma and social inclusion in addiction, homelessness, sex work, the LGBT community, the migrant community, and people living with HIV in Ireland since 1987. The findings of the ‘HIV in Ireland 2017’ survey will also be launched.

 

ENDS.

 

Contact: Joanne Ahern (until 3pm) / Louise Archbold (after 3pm), DHR Communications, Tel: 087-9881837 / 087-2601145.

 

Notes to Editors:

  • Niall Mulligan is available for interview.

 

About HIV Ireland:

 

HIV Ireland is a registered charity operating at local, national and European level. The principal aim of the organisation is to improve, through a range of support services, conditions for people living with HIV and AIDS and/or Hepatitis, their families and their caregivers while further promoting sexual health in the general population.

 

Our mission and vision is to contribute towards a significant reduction in the incidence and prevalence of HIV in Ireland and towards the realisation of an AIDS-free generation by advocating for individuals living with HIV, preventing new HIV infections and combating HIV-related stigma and discrimination.

 

Since 1987 HIV Ireland has been pioneering services in sexual health education and promotion, and has consistently engaged in lobbying and campaigning in the promotion of human rights. Our approach broadly reflects a harm minimisation model which emphasises practical rather than idealised goals.

 

HIV Ireland, and Gay Health Network, call for PrEP in response to HIV crisis -Ten new HIV diagnoses every week in Ireland –

PRESS RELEASE – Wednesday 14th June release date

HIV Ireland, and Gay Health Network, call for PrEP in response to HIV crisis
-Ten new HIV diagnoses every week in Ireland –

Wednesday 14th June 2017

HIV Ireland, and the Gay Health Network are calling for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) to be made available in Ireland through the Health Service Executive’s general medical scheme (GMS). PrEP is a once daily medication that, in combination with safer-sex practices, has been proven to significantly reduce the risk of sexually acquired HIV-1 infection among uninfected adults at high risk.

In response to the ongoing HIV crisis in Ireland, HIV Ireland and the Gay Health Network issued the call on Irish AIDS Day, 15th June, at the launch of a key policy options review paper conducted by Dr. Ann Nolan (International Development Specialist).

With new HIV diagnoses in Ireland increasing to their highest level on record in 2016, a joint statement from Noel Sutton, Chairperson of the Gay Health Network, and Niall Mulligan, Executive Director of HIV Ireland stated; ‘‘HIV Ireland and the Gay Health Network are calling for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) to be made a public health priority in Ireland. New HIV diagnoses nationally have increased by 35% since 2011. A total of 512 people were newly diagnosed as living with HIV in 2016, compared with 485 in 2015 [www.hpsc.ie – provisional data]. Of particular concern is the continued high level of new diagnoses amongst men who have sex with men (MSM). To reverse this alarming upward trend, PrEP must be introduced as a key HIV prevention intervention’.

Dr. Nolan added that “The message to the Health Service Executive arising from this study is clear: PrEP promises to be one of the most important innovations in the global response to HIV, and Ireland’s escalating epidemic suggests that we cannot afford to be left behind! Sustained increases in sexually acquired HIV are a cause for concern not only in Ireland but across Europe and North America. It is evident from this Irish-centred study that a range of health care providers identify a need for Ireland to join the increasing number of countries making PrEP available to people at risk of HIV as part of a comprehensive package of prevention measures.”

Speaking at the launch, Dr. Patrick Mallon, (Consultant in Infectious Diseases Mater Misericordiae University Hospital) confirmed that ‘As part of HIV prevention, safety and efficacy of currently approved PrEP medication is well established, and the high level of support for PrEP implementation among key stakeholders and potential end-users who participated in this study points to the need for immediate steps to be taken to make PrEP available to key populations at risk of HIV in Ireland’.

The official launch of Dr. Nolan’s paper will take place in HIV Ireland, 70 Eccles Street, Dublin, at 10.00am on Thursday 15th June 2017.

For information about HIV, testing, safer sex and support please visit – www.hivireland.ie; www.man2man.ie; www.positivenow.ie

End

HIV Ireland launches National HIV Stigma Survey: Survey to Explore HIV Stigma & Discrimination

HIV Ireland launches National HIV Stigma Survey
Survey to Explore HIV Stigma & Discrimination

Press Release Wednesday 1st March, 2017

HIV Ireland is marking its 30th anniversary by undertaking a National Survey on Stigma and HIV in partnership with the Mater Hospital/UCD. The survey will explore how living with HIV impacts on people’s day to day lives, especially within the context of stigma and discrimination.

Coinciding with UNAIDS Zero Discrimination Day, the survey for people living with HIV goes live on Wednesday 1st March. HIV Ireland is asking for people living with HIV to visit its website (www.hivireland.ie/survey) and complete the short survey.

With new HIV diagnoses in Ireland increasing to their highest level on record in 2016, Niall Mulligan, Executive Director of HIV Ireland said: ‘‘It is crucial for us to understand all the reasons behind the continued increase of new HIV diagnoses in Ireland. We have seen an increase of 35% since 2011, with a total of 513 people diagnosed as living with HIV in 2016, compared to 485 in 2015 [www.hpsc.ie – provisional data]. Ireland now has an average of 10 people per week being diagnosed with HIV. Understanding more about people’s personal experiences of living with HIV will help in the response to this very real public health challenge in Ireland today’.

On the launch of Zero Discrimination Day, Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director stated that ‘the right to health belongs to all. On this #ZeroDiscrimination Day let us commit to ensuring everyone, everywhere can access health care safely, and live life fully with dignity’.

The National HIV Stigma Survey will remain live for 6 weeks. Interim results are expected to be available for Irish AIDS Day on Thursday 15th June, with the full report being launched in the latter half of 2017, providing a real insight into the reality of living with HIV in Ireland in 2017.

For information about HIV, testing, safer sex and support please visit – www.hivireland.ie; www.man2man.ie; www.positivenow.ie

End

For further information, please contact:

Niall Mulligan,
Executive Director
HIV Ireland
70 Eccles Street
Dublin 7

Mobile: 085 7457951
Tel: 01 8733799
Email: niall.mulligan@hivireland.ie
www.hivireland.ie

14.02.17: Expert groups ‘deeply disappointed’ with new laws affecting human rights of sex workers

Amnesty International Ireland | HIV Ireland | Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI) | Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI)

Four human rights organisations working with vulnerable groups in Ireland have expressed grave concerns with Part IV of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill 2015, which was passed in the Seanad this evening (Tuesday 14.02.17). Part IV criminalises the purchase of sexual services and increases penalties for aspects of the work.

Niall Mulligan, Executive Director of HIV Ireland: “We advised strongly against this course of action, which goes against the expert opinion of the World Health Organisation and UNAIDS. Criminalisation of the purchase of sex drives sex work further underground, forcing workers to take more risks and work less safely. This in turn risks increasing the rate of HIV transmission. With new HIV diagnoses averaging almost 10 per week, this law will compound what is already a growing HIV crisis in Ireland.”

Edel McGinley, Director of MRCI: “We came out against this law after long consideration, and it is deeply disappointing that it passed today. It will not protect the most vulnerable – migrants, asylum seekers, refugees doing survival sex work. Furthermore, it promotes harmful stigmatisation and obstructs access to justice. We know from our decade of work on human trafficking and forced labour that this approach will not help victims of trafficking.”

Broden Giambrone, Chief Executive of TENI: “Trans people enter the sex industry for a variety of reasons, most commonly because they live in a transphobic society and their economic opportunities are limited due to structural barriers. Criminalising the purchase of sex will not make these barriers go away; it will only further limit the options of a vulnerable population.”

Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland: “After two years of research and investigation, Amnesty International adopted a global position in favour of the decriminalisation of sex work and against the Nordic model. Our research highlighted the dangers of criminalising any aspect of consensual sex work, as evidenced from Argentina, Hong Kong, Norway, and Papua New Guinea. The Norway evidence shows that criminalising the purchase of sex does not fulfil its intended purpose of reducing prostitution and, more importantly, is not an effective way to protect sex workers.”

The groups welcomed the last-minute inclusion of a three-year review and limited decriminalisation of street sex workers, following extensive lobbying by the Sex Workers Alliance Ireland (SWAI) and others.

ENDS

CONTACT

Aoife Murphy, Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI): communications@mrci.ie