Press Release – HIV guilty verdict places spotlight on HIV transmission

‘HIV Ireland states when HIV is undetectable it’s also untransmittable’

In the first case of its kind in Ireland, a 28-year old man living with HIV has been convicted of causing serious harm to two former partners by infecting them with HIV. For HIV Ireland, and many people living with HIV, this case raises a number of issues.

Commenting on the case, Niall Mulligan, Executive Director with HIV Ireland said, “This is the first time an individual in Ireland has been convicted of causing harm by recklessly infecting someone with HIV. Whilst it will be for the Court to determine the appropriate sentence, it is crucial to emphasise that this is an isolated incident. The case is less about HIV transmission per se, and more about one person recklessly and knowingly putting another person at risk. We know that people living with HIV, who are compliant with their treatment, and have an undetectable viral load, cannot pass the virus on to someone else.’’

International HIV medical experts, including the Centre for Disease Control in the USA, agree. When the HIV virus cannot be detected within a person’s body, it cannot be transmitted on to other people. This suppression of the virus comes with treatment compliance. Mr. Mulligan further emphasised ‘the importance of understanding that an undetectable HIV virus means an untransmitable HIV virus. Without such understanding, myths about HIV transmission will continue to feed into the stigma around HIV which impacts negatively on the lives of over 5000 people living with HIV in Ireland today’.

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For further information, please contact:

Niall Mulligan,
Executive Director
HIV Ireland
70 Eccles Street
Dublin 7
Mobile: 085 7457951
Tel: 01 8733799