HIV in Ireland

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) is responsible for the collation and analysis of data on HIV and AIDS in Ireland.  The data below is taken from the 2018 Report on HIV in Ireland – the most recent report issued by the HPSC (5th November 2019).  This and other reports can be accessed at

9,344 people have been diagnosed with HIV in Ireland since the early 1980’s.

Summary Report 2018

  • There were 523 HIV diagnoses in Ireland in 2018.
  • This is a rate of 11 per 100,000 population.
  • 79% were male, 21% were female.
  • Reporting on gender identity was included in HIV reporting from the middle of 2018. Five diagnoses were recorded among trans people.  All five identified as trans female.

Age Groups:

  • 79% of HIV diagnoses were among those aged 25-39 years.
  • 7% of HIV diagnoses was reported among young people aged 15 to 24 years.
  • 14% of HIV diagnoses were among those aged 50 years and older.
  • The median age of adult cases at HIV diagnosis was 35 years.

Probable Route of Transmission:

Information on the probable route of transmission was available for 91% of diagnoses in 2018.

  • Men who have sex with men are the group most affected by HIV in Ireland accounting for 56% (n=293) of diagnoses in 2018.
  • Heterosexual transmission accounted for 31% (n=168) of diagnoses in 2018.
  • 3% of new diagnoses (n=14) in 2018 were among people who inject drugs.
  • There were four cases where the probable route of transmission was attributed to vertical transmission (MTCT) in 2018.

Previously Tested Positive Abroad Including Transfer of Care

  • Among the diagnoses in 2018, 42% were previously diagnosed with HIV in another country.
  • 89% of people who had a previous HIV diagnoses transferred their HIV care from abroad to Ireland.

Late Presentation and Advanced HIV Infection

Late diagnosis: CD4 count of less than <350 cells/mm3 or an AIDS defining illness at diagnosis.

Advanced HIV infection: CD4 count of less than <200 cells/mm3 or an AIDS defining illness at diagnosis.

  • Information on stage of HIV infection at diagnoses was available for 77% of cases.
  • Among all diagnoses (where information was available) 34% presented with late infection including 19% with advanced HIV infection in 2018.
  • Among those not previously diagnosed abroad 49% were late presenters including 30% who presented with advanced HIV infection.
  • The groups with the highest proportions of both presenting late and with advanced HIV infections were females, those aged 40 years and over, people born in sub-Saharan Africa, and people outside HSE East.

Region of Birth:

  • Of the diagnoses in 2018, 21% (n=109) were born in Ireland, 71% (n=370) were born abroad and 8% (n=44) did not have information on country of birth.
  • Of the 370 HIV diagnoses among those born outside Ireland, 34% were born in sub-Saharan Africa and 36% were born in Latin America and the Caribbean, 9% from countries in Central and Eastern Europe and 11% from countries in Western Europe.
  • 76% of heterosexual female cases and heterosexual male cases were born in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • The majority of MSM were born in Ireland or Latin America and Caribbean.
  • 57% of PWID were born in Ireland and 29% in Central or Eastern Europe.


Data on deaths reported in 2018 are obtained from (1) clinician reports and (2) the Central Statistics Office.

  • Among the HIV diagnoses in 2018, two deaths were reported at the time of HIV diagnosis (both male).
  • There were five deaths reported to the CSO in 2018 where the cause of death was AIDS or HIV (4 males and 1 female).

Global Statistics: HIV

UNAIDS ( publishes epidemiological reports on HIV.