World AIDS Day 2016 campaign supported by Lord Mayor of Dublin
The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Mr. Brendan Carr, has given his full support to this year’s World AIDS Day campaign, Hands Up for #HIVprevention (http://www.hivireland.ie/what-we-do/campaigns/hands-up-for-hivprevention/). World AIDS Day takes place annually on the 1st of December. Breda Gahan of the Dochas HIV and AIDS Working Group points out ‘that HIV and AIDS remains a serious health issue across the globe, with over 5,700 people newly infected with HIV every day in 2015. Currently 36.7 million people globally are living with HIV. As more women are infected globally, it is important to realise that HIV is the leading cause of death among women of reproductive age (UNAIDS 2016)’.
Here in Ireland, there is a growing concern regarding the rising numbers of newly diagnosed cases of HIV. A total of 485 people were newly diagnosed as living with HIV in 2015, compared with 372 in 2014 [www.hpsc.ie]. Heterosexual transmission accounted for 27% of HIV diagnoses in Ireland in 2015, with 79 diagnoses among females, and 51 among males. The largest group of people contracting HIV in Ireland continues to be men who have sex with men (MSM). And to date in 2016, there have been 453 provisional new HIV diagnoses, 36 more than at the same time in 2015.
At the launch of WAD 2016, the Lord Mayor of Dublin Brendan Carr said “With a growing rise in numbers of those newly diagnosed in Ireland with HIV, it is clear that more needs to be done in the areas of HIV prevention education. HIV is both a health issue and a social inclusion issue given the key population groups it consistently impacts upon locally and globally. We need to focus on people who face an increased risk of contracting HIV due to their circumstances including those living in extreme poverty, homeless, addicted to drugs, working within the sex industry, in prison or suffering from poor mental health. Dublin City Council is proud to support the Hands Up for #HIVprevention campaign.”
In support of the campaign, Niall Mulligan, Executive Director of HIV Ireland ‘encouraged everyone to get behind the Hands Up for #HIVprevention campaign. Preventing the further transmission of HIV is crucial if we are to halt the rising HIV figures in Ireland and throughout the world’.
Lysander Preston, Chairperson of Positive Now, the all-Ireland network of people living with HIV welcomed this new campaign. “Positive Now stands in solidarity with those living with HIV and AIDS around the world. We work with many groups and people to help combat HIV related stigma and discrimination which greatly impacts on individuals living with this illness. Removing HIV related stigma and discrimination from Irish society and globally will greatly enhance HIV prevention work across the country and worldwide’.
Since the early 1990’s, treatment for HIV has made an extraordinary impact on the pandemic as people living with HIV increasingly are living long and healthy lives. Globally, AIDS-related deaths have dropped 45% since their peak in 2005. However, World AIDS Day remains an occasion when many Dubliners remember their friends and family who, locally or globally, are among the tens of millions who have died. Richard Carson of ACET Ireland reminds us that “this time of year people across the city are gathering in community centres and faith communities to remember those they have lost while courageously renewing themselves to combat HIV-related stigma and discrimination.”
The Lord Mayor will officially launch Dublin’s support for World AIDS Day 2016 at 10.30am on Thursday 1st December outside the Mansion House.
For further information, please contact:
Breda Gahan, Global Health & HIV/AIDS Programme Adviser, Concern Worldwide – 086 2336377. www.concern.net
Niall Mulligan, Executive Director, HIV Ireland – 085 7457951. www.hivireland.ie
Lysander Preston, Chairperson, Positive Now – 01-8733799. www.positivenow.ie
Richard Carson, CEO, ACET Ireland – 086 0482094. www.acet.ie