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 2017 Report on HIV in Ireland – the most recent report issued by the HPSC (23rd November 2018).  This and other reports can be accessed at

8,826 people have been diagnosed with HIV in Ireland since the early 1980’s.


Summary Report 2017

  • 492 people were newly diagnosed with HIV in Ireland in 2017.
  • This is a rate of 10.3 per 100,000 population.
  • 376 were male (77%), 116 were female (23%).

Age Groups:

  • 59% of new HIV diagnoses were among those aged 25-39 years.
  • 8% of new HIV diagnoses was reported among young people aged 15 to 24 years.
  • 14% of new 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 2017.

  • Sex between men was the predominant route of HIV transmission in Ireland in 2017 and accounted for just over half of diagnoses (262, 53%).
  • Heterosexual contact was the second most commonly reported mode of transmission in 2017 (163; 33%).
  • 5% of new diagnoses (n=17) were among people who inject drugs.

Previously Tested Positive Abroad Including Transfer of Care

  • Among the diagnoses in 2017, 39% were previously diagnosed with HIV in another country.
  • Since 2015 data has been collected on whether a person has transferred their HIV care from another country. 34% diagnosed in 2017 were transferring their care.

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 73% of cases.
  • Among those not previously diagnosed abroad 55% were late presenters and 32% presented with advanced HIV infection.
  • The groups with the highest proportions of both presenting late and with advanced HIV infections were females, those aged 50 years and over, people born in Central, Eastern and sub-Saharan Africa, people outside HSE East and PWID.

Region of Birth:

  • Of the diagnoses in 2017, 26% (n=130) were born in Ireland, 63% (n=308) were born abroad and 11% (n=54) did not have information on country of birth.
  • Of the 308 cases among migrants, 23% were born in sub-Saharan Africa and 20% were born in Latin America, 8% from countries in Central and Eastern Europe and 7% from countries in Western Europe
  • 74% of heterosexual female cases were born in sub-Saharan Africa with roughly equal proportions of heterosexual males born in Ireland (40%) and sub-Saharan Africa (43%).
  • The majority of MSM were born in Ireland or Latin America.
  • 76% of PWID were born in Ireland and Central or Eastern Europe.


  • Among the HIV diagnoses in 2017, 3 people were reported to have died at the time of HIV notification (all male).
  • There were 11 deaths reported to the CSO in 2017 where the cause of death was AIDS or HIV (7 males and 4 females).


Global Statistics: HIV

UNAIDS ( publishes epidemiological reports on HIV.