Press Release: HIV Ireland calls for urgent Government action on latest HIV figures
14th June 2018
An average of ten people are diagnosed with HIV every week in Ireland.
As new HIV diagnoses in 2018 begin to surpass those of 2017, HIV Ireland, the national charity for HIV advocacy, support and prevention is calling on the Government to act.
According to HIV Ireland a total of 504 people were newly diagnosed with HIV in 2017, similar to 2016 data of 503 new HIV diagnoses. Provisional data for the first five months of 2018 shows this worrying trend continuing with 212 new HIV diagnoses reported to date [www.hpsc.ie – provisional data]. Ireland has, on average, 10 people per week being diagnosed with HIV.
Official figures are likely to understate the scale of the crisis. According to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS), 15% of people living with HIV in Western Europe are undiagnosed. To reduce the number of undiagnosed people living with HIV, HIV Ireland is calling on the Irish Government to increase resources for free community-based, low threshold, HIV testing.
According to Niall Mulligan, Executive Director of HIV Ireland, “In 2017, HIV Ireland provided free, low threshold, HIV testing to 1089 people across 6 different community sites. Unfortunately, we had to turn away a further 384 people who presented for testing because we didn’t have the resources to cope. It is crucial that we ensure access to free HIV testing is widely available across Ireland. We know regular HIV testing means earlier diagnosis, and earlier access to effective treatment. We also know that effective HIV treatment reduces the virus in the body to undetectable levels, meaning that HIV cannot be passed on to someone else.”
To increase national awareness of HIV, HIV Ireland is hosting the inaugural Red Ball in the Guinness Storehouse on Saturday 16th June. Funds raised at the event will help support the work of HIV Ireland, in particular the organisation’s plan to develop a free evening low threshold HIV testing service, and increase counselling hours for people living with HIV.
View HIV Ireland’s 2017 Annual Report for more information and statistics.
For further information, please contact:
70 Eccles Street
Mobile: 085 7457951
Tel: 01 8733799