Irish AIDS Day, observed on June 15th every year is dedicated to raising awareness of HIV infection in Ireland. Latest data from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) shows that there were 320 new HIV diagnoses in Ireland in 2011. The highest number of new diagnoses (136 cases; 42.5%) were among men who have sex with men (MSM) with 108 cases among heterosexuals (33.8%) and 16 cases (5.0%) among Injecting Drug Users (IDUs). Of particular concern was the number of individuals that were diagnosed at an advanced stage of infection. In 2011, of the 214 cases where CD4 count was reported, 51.9% presented at a late stage of infection (CD4 count of <350 cells/mm3) including 32.7% who were severely immune‐compromised at diagnosis (CD4 cell count <200cells/mm3). The proportion of those diagnosed late (<350 cells/mm3) was highest among IDUs (84.6%) and heterosexual males (69.8%). Early detection of HIV infection is vitally important and individuals who are diagnosed at an early stage in their infection are known to respond well to antiretroviral treatment, have improved health outcomes and are less likely to transmit the virus to others.
To mark Irish AIDS Day 2012, Open Heart House (Dublin), the Sexual Health Centre (Cork), AIDS West (Galway), Dublin AIDS Alliance (Dublin) and the Red Ribbon Project (Limerick) will launch their "Don’t Guess, Get Tested!" campaign which aims to raise awareness of the numbers of late presenters with HIV in Ireland and to encourage early HIV testing. Further information on planned events to mark Irish AIDS Day 2012 can be found at www.dublinaidsalliance.com and www.openhearthouse.com
The 2011 HIV Report from the HPSC can be accessed here.
HIV & AIDS in Ireland, 2010
During 2010, the number of new HIV diagnoses in Ireland declined by 16.2%. However, the data suggest that HIV transmission in Ireland has not declined significantly. The HPSC annual HIV case-based surveillance report for 2010 outlines the key statistics and epidemiology of disease transmission among key risk groups. The HIV & AIDS in Ireland, 2010 report may be found here
HPSC publishes HIV and AIDS figures for 2009
New figures released by the HSE’s Health Protection Surveillance Centre show 395 newly diagnosed case of HIV in Ireland during 2009 – a 2.2% decrease compared with 2008 – and 33 new cases of AIDS.
The cumulative number of AIDS cases reported up the end of 2009 is 1038, with 414 deaths reported among AIDS cases. There were two deaths among AIDS cases reported in 2009. The total number of HIV infections reported up to the end of 2009 is 5,637.
156 of the newly diagnosed HIV cases were heterosexually acquired, 138 new infections were among men who have sex with men (MSM) and 30 were among injecting drug users (IDUs). However, this data must be interpreted with caution as information on risk group is not available for 65 cases, making analysis of trends difficult.
258 of those diagnosed with HIV in 2009 were male, and 137 were female.
There were five new diagnoses of HIV infection in children during 2009. All are likely to have been infected through mother to child transmission (MCT). Of these, one was born in Ireland and the remaining four were older children who were born in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Of the 307 HIV cases where geographic origin is known, 141 were born in Ireland, 96 were born in sub-Saharan Africa, 21 were born in Western Europe, 13 were born in Central Europe, 15 were born in Eastern Europe and 14 were born in South America.
HPSC specialist in public health medicine, Dr Aidan O’Hora, said that the one of the key findings of this year’s report was the number of MSM who have been newly diagnosed with HIV.
“The number rose from 97 in 2008 to 138 in 2009 – a 42.3% increase in twelve months. The majority of these men – 63% - were born in Ireland and most likely acquired their infection here. Young men under 30 years of age accounted for 35% of new diagnoses. This trend is consistent with what is being seen in many other western industrialized countries.
“The overall drop in HIV cases is welcome. The number of people living with HIV is growing and given the increases in sexually transmitted diseases which facilitate the transmission of HIV infection, people should heed the safe sex message. Anyone engaging in sexual activity should practice safe sex. A properly used condom provides effective protection from HIV.
“The epidemiology of HIV in Ireland is complex and due to the voluntary nature of the reporting system, it is likely that the number of case reports is an underestimate,” added Dr O’Hora.
1 December 2008 marks the 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day. The theme of World AIDS day 2008 is “Lead – Empower – Deliver”, building on last year’s theme of “Take the Lead”. The World AIDS campaign for 2005-2010 is “Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise”. Further information on the World AIDS campaign and World AIDS Day 2008 can be found at http://www.worldaidscampaign.info/.
According to the latest global figures published by UNAIDS and the WHO in their 2008 report on the Global AIDS Epidemic, the number of new HIV infections has declined from 3 million in 2001 to 2.7 million in 2007. However, although the number of new infections has fallen in several countries, the AIDS epidemic is not over in any part of the world and rates of new HIV infections are rising in many countries including China, Indonesia, the Russian Federation and Ukraine. It is estimated that there are 33 million people living with HIV worldwide with nearly 7,500 new infections each day. Further information on the global HIV and AIDS pandemic can be found on the UNAIDS website www.unaids.org.
World AIDS day is commemorated around the globe on December 1st. The theme of World AIDS day 2007 is Leadership and the World AIDS campaign for 2005-2010 is “Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise”. Further information on the World AIDS campaign and World AIDS Day 2007 can be found at http://www.worldaidscampaign.info/.
Twenty-six years after the first reported case of AIDS, the global AIDS epidemic continues to grow. According to the latest figures published by UNAIDS and the WHO in their 2007 AIDS Epidemic Update, an estimated 2.5 million people were newly infected in 2007 and there are now 33.2 million people living with HIV worldwide. In 2007, 2.1 million people died of AIDS-related illnesses. While Africa remains the global epicentre, no country is unaffected by the AIDS pandemic. Further information on the global HIV and AIDS pandemic can be found on the UNAIDS website www.unaids.org.
Voluntary antenatal HIV testing in Ireland identified 290 previously unknown cases of HIV in pregnant women, in the four years from 2002 to 2005. A full report on this may be found here.
World AIDS Day, December 1st 2005
World AIDS day is commemorated around the globe on December 1st. Throughout the world, people celebrate the progress made in the battle against the epidemic while focusing on the challenges ahead. The World AIDS Campaign (WAC), from 2005 to 2010, is calling on individuals and groups to support the theme “Stop AIDS. Keep the promise”. Further information on World AIDS Day 2005 can be accessed on the WAC website at http://worldaidscampaign.info
According to the latest report published by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the World Health Organisation (WHO), the total number of people living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) rose in 2005 to reach its highest level, an estimated 40.3 million people. This figure includes an estimated 4.9 million people who acquired HIV in 2005. It is estimated that the global AIDS epidemic killed 3.1 million people in 2005, of which 500,000 were children.
Further information on the global HIV and AIDS pandemic can be found on the UNAIDS website (www.unaids.org).
The total number of HIV infections reported in Ireland up to the end of June 2005 is 3,912. Numbers of HIV infections diagnosed in Ireland increased steadily between 1994 and 2003 (from 75 to 399 cases). Between 2003 and 2004, there was a 10% decrease in the number of cases diagnosed.
A policy of voluntary antenatal HIV testing in Ireland was introduced in 1999 on the advice of the National AIDS Strategy Committee (NASC). As part of this programme, HIV testing is offered to all women who attend for antenatal services. Between 2002 and 2004, 247 women who had previously been unaware of their HIV status, were diagnosed as HIV positive during antenatal screening. The full report may be found here.
Detailed reports on HIV and AIDS in Ireland can be found here.
World AIDS Day 2012
World AIDS Day is celebrated on December 1st each year around the world. It is a key opportunity to raise awareness of HIV and AIDS, to commemorate those who have died, and celebrate victories such as increased access to treatment and prevention services.
World AIDS Day 2012 is about “Getting to Zero.” Zero New HIV Infections, Zero Discrimination and Zero AIDS Related Deaths. Backed by the United Nations the “Getting to Zero” campaign runs until 2015. From December 1st 2011 to 2015 it’s envisioned that different regions and groups will each year chose one or all of the “Zeros” that best addresses their situation.
There is positive news in the latest World AIDS Day Report by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), which shows that a 50% reduction in the rate of new HIV infections (HIV incidence) has been achieved in 25 low- and middle-income countries between 2001 and 2011. In some of the highest prevalence countries in the world, rates of new HIV infections have been cut dramatically since 2001; by 73% in Malawi, 71% in Botswana, 68% in Namibia and 58% in Zambia. In the last two years, there has been a 60% increase in the number of people accessing life-saving treatment – 8 million people are now on antiretroviral therapy. However, the total number of new HIV infections remains high at 2.5 million in 2011 and the report shows that HIV continues to have a disproportionate impact on sex workers, men who have sex with men (MSM) and people who inject drugs.
In 2011, an estimated:
34 million [31.4 million – 35.9 million] people globally living with HIV
2.5 million [2.2 million – 2.8 million] became newly infected with HIV
1.7 million [1.5 million – 1.9 million] people died from AIDS-related illnesses
Latest Irish HIV Data The latest HIV report from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) describes new HIV diagnoses in Ireland in Quarter 3 2012. During Q3, there were 91 new diagnoses with 50% among MSM, 31% among heterosexuals and 3% among IDUs. Seventy four percent were male and the median age was 34 years. Of the cases where CD4 count was known (70% of cases in Q3), 47% were diagnosed at a late stage of infection (CD4 count<350 cells/mm3) and 23% were severely immunocompromised at the time of diagnosis (CD4 count <200 cells/mm3). This compares to the 2011 data where 52% of new cases were diagnosed at a late stage and 27% were severely immunocompromised at diagnosis (of the cases where CD4 count was known: 67% of cases). In recent years, men who have sex with men (MSM) are the group in Ireland most severely affected by HIV in Ireland and accounted for 43% of new diagnoses in 2011. Figure 1 shows the trends in the three main risk groups, MSM, heterosexuals and Injecting Drug Users (IDUs) from 2000 to 2011.
The full version of the Quarter 3 2012 HIV report and other HIV reports can be found on the HPSC website.
For information on events happening in Ireland to mark World AIDS Day 2012, please see here.
If you require further information on HIV or sexual health, please click here for links to HIV support organisations in Ireland. The website www.yoursexualhealth.ie provides a list of clinics where you can organize a confidential HIV test.