Our one-day training course on HIV and Hepatitis C is now open for bookings. Taking place on Tuesday 17th May 2016, this popular training course aims to provide participants with information on HIV and Hepatitis C transmission, prevention, testing and treatment. The training will be beneficial to professionals across a range of sectors who work with service users that may be living with, or at risk of, HIV and hepatitis C. More information and booking forms are available here.
Campaign urges people to ask their pharmacist for sexual health advice.
A new campaign launched today (11th April 2016) by the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) is encouraging people to ask their pharmacist for advice about their sexual health and contraception needs. The campaign was launched by the Minister for Health Leo Varadkar and is supported by the HSE Sexual Health and Crisis Pregnancy Programme (SHCPP), the Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA) and HIV Ireland.
HIV Ireland is delighted to support the campaign with our newly developed infographic on sexual health, which we developed in partnership with the IFPA and the HSE SHCPP. This resource provides clear information for people who may have had unprotected sex and provides guidance and information in relation to STI testing, emergency contraception, pregnancy counselling and where to access free condoms. The infographic can be used by pharmacists to signpost people to sexual health services.
Launching the campaign, Minister Varadkar said “This is a really welcome campaign which can help us to address the stigma around sexual health and also highlight the dangers associated with the recent rise in infections. It’s great to see the pharmacy sector taking such an active role in improving sexual health and combating the rise in infections. This campaign will complement the Government’s Sexual Health Strategy and Action Plan which was launched last year.”
There has been a significant increase in the number of sexually transmitted infection (STI) notifications in the last number of years, rising from 3,361 notifications reported in 1995 to 12,626 in 2014.
According to IPU President Kathy Maher, “The incidence of STIs is on the rise and it is critical that people take steps to protect their health and get tested. Your local pharmacist can offer you a private and confidential consultation and can help you arrange to get tested. Your pharmacist can also offer advice on contraception, as well as dispensing emergency contraception if required.”
Ms Maher said that: “80% of STIs are symptomless. For that reason, even if you feel healthy, if you have had unprotected sex, you should ask your pharmacist for advice about getting tested. Early diagnosis is critical in helping to prevent the spread of STIs, as well as maximising the health outcomes of the infected person.”
Read the full press release here.
The campaign was launched on 1st April 2016 by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Críona Ní Dhálaigh, at an event in the Mansion House.
HIV Ireland supports the campaign’s harm reduction approach with key messages that aim to reduce the harms associated with the choices that people may make about using powders and other drugs. Harm reduction information and education is essential to provide people with options that help to minimise risks associated with drug use and to help keep people healthy and safe.
Organisations can support the campaign by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and request a customised factsheet and poster (free of charge).
More information on the campaign can be viewed at www.drugs.ie/whatsinthepowder, where posters and factsheets can also be downloaded.
Download the HIV Ireland Poster.
Download the HIV Ireland Factsheet.
To mark International Women’s Day, UISCE and the Saol Project are once again hosting the annual ‘It’s Talk Time: Service Users Forum’ on Thursday 10th March in Ballybough Sports, Youth and Community Centre, in Dublin’s North Inner City.
Female participants involved in addiction services across Ireland are invited to come together to share their experiences of being a woman in addiction and in addiction services.
This year’s theme is ‘Let’s Talk Health’ (physical and mental health) and HIV Ireland will present and talk about HIV. The event and presentation is timely given the increasing numbers of new HIV infections among people who inject drugs (PWID) in Ireland, and particularly in the Dublin region. Between 2012 and 2014 there was a 68% increase in new HIV diagnoses among PWID (from 12 in 2012 to 27 in 2014). In addition, the number of new diagnoses among women has increased by 367% (from 3 in 2012 to 14 in 2014).
HIV Ireland will provide updates on the emerging trends on HIV diagnoses in Ireland, why HIV infections may be increasing amongst PWID, the challenges and implications of late HIV diagnoses, how HIV transmission may be prevented, and services available at HIV Ireland and other agencies.