HIV Ireland Annual Report 2016

If you would like to take a look at our newly published Annual Report 2016, see below.

HIV Ireland Annual Report 2016

Design by Joey at Subliminal Design

Record numbers of people diagnosed with HIV

IrishTimes.com, Thursday 11th May 2017

Ambivalence putting people at risk of contracting disease

Record numbers of people were diagnosed with HIV in Ireland last year amid concerns that a growing ambivalence about the disease is putting increasing numbers of people at risk.

More than 500 new cases of HIV were diagnosed, the highest rate since records began. Rates have been rising steadily since 2011, with the rate of new infections increasing significantly within the past two years.

The figures come at the same time that new research shows the life expectancy for young people with HIV in the western world is now as high as 76, helped by ever-improving treatments.

“Projections suggest that life expectancy of a 20-year-old who began treatment from 2008 onwards and had a low viral load after a year of treatment may approach that of the general population [about 78 years old],” the study published in The Lancet HIV journal this week states.

Newly released figures from Ireland’s Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) show that 512 people were diagnosed with the human immunodeficiency virus in 2016. Of these, 77 per cent were male and 23 per cent female.

However, over half of the new cases are people who were born outside of Ireland, but who came to Ireland in recent years. So far this year, there have been 183 new HIV cases. If this trend continues, 2017 will surpass last year’s figure.

Nearly half of the new HIV cases resulted from sex between men. Nearly a fifth came after heterosexual sex. Just 4 per cent of cases are reported from people who inject drugs.

However, the source of nearly a third of all of the cases – 31 per cent – recorded by the HPSC remained “unknown”, according to the HSE website.

A HSE spokeswoman said the rise was a cause for concern. It said that homosexuals from Latin America were a particularly high-risk group “some of whom are acquiring HIV in Ireland, and others who are coming to Ireland already infected with HIV”.

Part of the HSE response includes increased funding for screenings and working with the Gay Health Network to promote sexual health.

Steady increase

Niall Mulligan of HIV Ireland said the steady increase was “extremely concerning” but that some of the increase could be attributed to better detection procedures.

“There has been a steady increase over the last few years. Some of that is down to improved testing, so we are getting the numbers quicker.

“The other side is people are coming into Ireland, either students or coming from abroad to work. If they have already been diagnosed with HIV in the country they are coming from, they still have to go through HIV testing.”

Experts have also attributed the rise to an increase in unprotected sex in the gay community spurred by online dating apps such as Grindr and the use of recreational drugs during sex.

“I think there is definitely a scene which I suppose internationally would be described as the ‘chemsex’ scene. It’s the association of the use of chemical drugs with multiple sexual partners, group sex and unsafe sex,” Dr Des Crowley, addiction specialist at the Mountjoy Square Treatment Centre, said.

“Then I suppose within another sub-group of that is people who are choosing to have less safe sex. My own view is that people don’t really see HIV as being as serious a disease as previously.”

The new Lancet study states that, thanks to a variety of factors such as less-toxic treatment drugs and better adherence to treatment programmes, a 20-year-old man with HIV can expect to live to about 73 years of age while a woman can expect to live to about 76.

The study tracked 88,504 people with HIV from 18 European and North American cities who started antiretroviral treatment between 1996 and 2010.

Andrew Leavitt of the Dublin HIV/Aids activist group Act Up said that although some surveys showed condom use was dropping among homosexuals, it was overly simplistic to attribute the rise in HIV cases to ambivalence about the issue.

“Condom use isn’t necessarily the best proxy for what kind of risks people are taking. A lot of people understand that treatments which help people live longer also prevent transmission.

“There isn’t one single factor we can point to for increased HIV diagnoses,” Mr Leavitt said. “The idea that treatment is making people care less also ignores the fact the HIV is really heavily stigmatised, particularly in the gay community.”

Link to original article: http://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/record-numbers-of-people-diagnosed-with-hiv-1.3079987

HIV and Hepatitis C: one-day training – 18th May 2017

Our next one-day training on HIV and Hepatitis C takes place on Thursday 18th May 2017.  This training aims to provide participants with basic up-to-date and relevant information on HIV and Hepatitis C including transmission, prevention, testing and treatment.  For more information and how to book, click here.

Vacancy -Office Manager

We are seeking to recruit an Office Manager on a 4 day week to work directly to the Executive Director. Salary equivalent to HSE Grade V (Clerical) pro rata. Based in Dublin, this is an exciting opportunity at a time of development for the organisation, in this our 30th anniversary year.

The main responsibilities of this position are:

  • Management of all aspects of the organisations finances, overseeing payments, invoicing, banking, accounting and payroll.
  • Management of the Administration team.
  • Management of building and office facilities, including maintenance.
  • Management of databases, filing systems and all IT functions, including website.
  • Ensuring all policies and procedures are relevant and up-to-date.
  • Preparation of reports and proposals as required by the Executive Director.
  • Please see full job description and person specification for full details.

HIV Ireland Office Manager Job Description – February 2017 (002)

Office Manager Person Specification February 2017 (002)

Applicants should have:

  • Minimum three years’ experience at supervisory level in finances, administration and staff management.
  • Excellent organisational and communication skills.
  • A knowledge and understanding of the voluntary sector.
  • Ability to work effectively and co-operatively as part of a management team.

Please send your CV clearly addressing the requirements of the job description and the person specification together with a cover letter no later than 5.00pm on Thursday 9th March to: Niall Mulligan, Executive Director, HIV Ireland, 70 Eccles Street, Dublin, DO7 A977 or by email to niall.mulligan@hivireland.ie

Shortlisting will apply and interviews are planned for the week of 13th March 2017.

HIV Ireland Closing Times for the Holidays

The offices of HIV Ireland will close on Tuesday the 20th of December 2016 and will re-open on Tuesday the 4th of January, 2017. If you wish to speak to someone about HIV during this time please contact the HIV Helpline on 1800 459 459.

 

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year, and to those of you who celebrate it a very Happy Christmas, from all at HIV Ireland

‘FREDDSTIVAL’ – CELEBRATING FREDDIE MERCURY 25 YEARS AFTER HIS DEATH – 24th November at the Grand Social, Dublin 1

‘Freddstival’ – the greatest night of music and entertainment since QUEEN AT LIVE AID.

Join Paddy Cullivan & band and a host of Irish performers including Al Porter, Martin McCann from Sack, soprano Heather Fogarty, baritone Aidan Coleman, tenor Cathal O’Reilly, 10 piece acapella choir THE STEPPING STONES and lots more for an epic night of rock, opera, karaoke, costumes, laughter and song to celebrate the life and music of Freddie Mercury.

 

Tickets €12 early bird, €15 at the door. 24th November, The Grand Social, Liffey Street, Dublin 1. DOORS OPEN. 8PM. Please contact Barbara McCarthy on 089 2195385 for further information.

Monies raised will also go to The Alzheimer Society and HIV Ireland. Follow this link to purchase tickets https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/freddstival-tickets-28343407896.

FREDDISTIVAL

European HIV-Hepatitis Testing Week

European HIV-Hepatitis Testing Week takes place annually on the last week of November. In 2016 the event runs from Friday 18th to Friday 25th November.  There are now more than 500 participants across 49 countries taking part in activities.

For 2016, HIV Ireland has partnered with the Gay Men’s Health Service and the Know Now project to promote the availability of free community-based testing available in Dublin for the week, uniting with the rest of Europe to increase awareness of the benefits of HIV and hepatitis testing and encourage more people to become aware of their HIV and/or hepatitis status.  It is estimated that approximately 30% of people living with HIV in Ireland are unaware that they are HIV positive, and approximately 40% of those living with hepatitis C are unaware of their status.

The Dublin partnership incorporates a total of 13 testing venues for HIV.  12 testing venues are specifically for men who have sex with men (MSM), with 9 of these offering HIV rapid testing.  The community-based testing at HIV Ireland is open to everyone.  Five sites, including HIV Ireland, will also provide full STI and hepatitis testing.

There are many other locations and clinics around Ireland where free testing is available.  These locations can be found on our testing locator map.

To find out more about European HIV-Hepatitis Testing Week and to access a range of materials and ideas for holding testing and educational events visit www.testingweek.eu.

National_Advert_Ireland_2016

Help make a difference in the future, leave a legacy

This Best Will Week, Monday 31st October to Friday 4th November, HIV Ireland and 70 other charities of the My Legacy group, are asking you to continue to support us by making or updating your will and, once family and friends have been looked after, to include a legacy gift to us. It can be large or small but it will make a real difference to our work in the future.
Mylegacy.ie was established in 2003 by a small group of Irish charities who knew at first hand the impact a legacy or bequest can have on the work of a charity. Since then, Mylegacy.ie has grown to an umbrella group of over 70 Irish charities who work together to promote the importance of making a will and to ask people to consider leaving a legacy to a favourite charity once all other important personal decisions have been made.
You can learn more about leaving a gift to charity, and find a local participating solicitor for Best Will Week online at www.mylegacy.ie.
Please support our work by supporting this year’s Best Will Week. Thank you.

HIV Training: An overview for Counsellors

Now open for bookings: this popular one-day training aims to introduce counsellors and psychotherapists to key aspects of working with clients who are living with HIV, and introduces best practice guidelines for professionals working in this area.  Places are limited so early booking is advisable.  Find out more and download a booking form.

We are hiring! CE scheme position for Accounts Admin Assistant

We are still urgently looking for someone to join the HIV Ireland Admin Team, someone with good office, admin and numerical skills.

This is a CE Position so please contact your local DSP Employment Services/Intreo Office to check your eligibility and TO APPLY for this vacancy using the job reference #CES-2007873 closing date 5th of October, 2016. If you wish, you can also send your CV to brona.cousins@hivireland.ie

Duties will include; banking on line, creating invoices, dealing with petty cash and petty cash accounts, paperwork, dealing with suppliers, general admin and reception cover.

It is a varied and demanding part-time role (19 and a half hours a week) and would suit someone organised, with good IT skills, someone who likes dealing with numbers and paperwork.