HIV Ireland publishes 2017 Annual Report
HIV Ireland Chairperson’s statement on the publication of the 2017 Annual Report.
On behalf of the Board of HIV Ireland I wish to introduce our 2017 Annual Report. This year marked the 30th Anniversary of our work in Ireland and rightly called on us to reﬂect on the past and focus on our continuing role in the future. Our National HIV, Social Inclusion & Stigma Conference gave us just that opportunity. It provided a forum for varied and useful discussion on many issues which we hope to now build upon. We were honoured to be celebrated by the President of Ireland at a reception in Áras an Uachtaráin which allowed so many connected with HIV Ireland and the wider HIV community of volunteers and partners to come together and share experiences and hopes. The President also kindly became our Patron for which we are proud and grateful.
Regrettably for yet another year we saw the number of new cases of HIV diagnosed in the State go beyond 500. This graphic reminder of the continuing potency of HIV in our society requires robust engagement by us to continue to provide services, support and advocacy at the levels and standards we have always achieved. HIV Ireland does not work alone. Much of our work is undertaken in partnership with other organisations, agencies and individuals. This partnership approach has been keenly evidenced throughout the past year. Our collaboration with the Gay Health Network on PrEP has advanced the issue towards a more satisfactory conclusion but we are fully aware more needs to be done, and we commit ourselves to continue this struggle. We were proud to be have been invited by the HSE to become the national lead organisation in continuing the important work being undertaken by the KnowNow Rapid HIV Testing programme. This service is now back up and running in Dublin, and we thank our partners in Cork, Limerick and Galway, and all our volunteers and supporters across the country for their valued help. We look forward to continuing this policy of cooperation with both statutory and non-statutory organisations that work directly with key risk populations – groups working with men who have sex with men, people who use drugs, sex workers, migrants, and people experiencing homelessness amongst others.
In terms of our own organisation I want to wholeheartedly thank all those who support our work. In particular, I am indebted to the commitment of my fellow Board members who bring their enthusiasm, talent, perspective and skill in voluntary furtherance of the organisation’s goals. This commitment and skill is matched by the staff and volunteers of HIV Ireland, whose work, I firmly believe, ensures the lives of many people living with HIV in Ireland are changed for the better. I sincerely thank them for their hard work.
On behalf of the Board I wish to express our appreciation to all those who helped fund the organisation. It is essential that our work continue; their support is vital to that end. A year has passed which marked a milestone in the story of HIV in Ireland. That in itself is of significance but more so is the determination we have shown, with others, and will continue to show to never forget the reasons why we are here: whilst memories may be dimming there is much work to be done. In the spirit of the reflection of the year gone-by, we commit ourselves anew to our goals.
View / download the HIV Ireland 2017 Annual Report.
Bernard Condon SC