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.”.
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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:
- Community Support
- 1-1 Support
- Community Outreach Work
- HIV & STI Community Testing
- Capacity Building with People Living with HIV
- 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