HIV Ireland has today launched an online publicity campaign encouraging organisations and members of the public to “Glow Red for World AIDS Day 1st December”. More than 60 landmark buildings and monuments around Ireland will be illuminated in red light to raise awareness of HIV and HIV-related stigma, with an emphasis on women.

Recently published statistics regarding HIV in Ireland from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre shows that women represented 34% of newly notified cases in Ireland in 2022, up from 25% from 2019 (pre Covid) levels. While many notified cases concern people with a previous diagnosis of HIV who are linking to care in Ireland, women also accounted for 21 percent of first-time diagnoses (34) last year.

The Glow Red campaign, supported by GSK-ViiV healthcare, is being fronted by broadcaster and activist Rebecca Tallon de Havilland, a trans woman living with HIV since 1987, and Aoife Commins, a nurse from Galway who has recently spoken publicly about her HIV diagnosis and the impact this had had on her life.

Speaking ahead of the launch, Executive Director of HIV Stephen O’Hare said: “This year, the global theme of World AIDS Day is “Let Communities Lead. Yet one community that is often silenced in the discussion, both in relation to prevention and stigma, is women. Glow Red aims to change that,” he said.

Ambassador for the Glow Red campaign 2023 Ms Rebecca Tallon de Havilland said: “Stigma stops women including trans women from seeking the information and support we need. When nobody talks about women and HIV, women have no one to talk to. It is vital that women, particularly those at increased vulnerability to acquiring HIV in our communities, have access to suitable preventive and supportive options such as access to PrEP and PEP, testing and treatment, outreach, and psychological support.”

“I spent the better part of my life living with the stigma and shame that society attaches to HIV,” continued Ms Tallon de Havilland. “No woman, whether they are cis or trans, gay or straight, should have to live with, and be subjected to, stigma. We already know that if we don’t end the stigma attached to HIV, we won’t end HIV transmissions at all. Women belong in this conversation.”

“HIV has changed,” said Stephen O’Hare. “A person on effective treatment, who attains an undetectable viral load cannot pass on the virus,” he added. “Thanks to advances in medication, a person living with HIV can live a long and healthy life, continued Mr O’Hare. “To ensure people can live their very best lives we need to end stigma, for women, for men, for everyone.”


Notes to Editors

For interview, please contact Stephen O’Hare, Executive Director HIV Ireland on 0857112635 or email

Statistics of women and HIV and available from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre HIV Data and Reports 2022

Information on the Glow Red Campaign is available at