World aids day is celebrated today 1st December to raise the public awareness about AIDS (Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome). AIDS is a pandemic disease caused due to the infection of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). The day is celebrated by the government organizations, NGOs, civil society and other health officials by organizing the speeches or forums discussion related to the AIDS.
The HSE, in partnership with a number of Sexual Health Organisations around Ireland is providing free Rapid HIV testing his week to mark World AIDS Day on December 1st. World AIDS Day is held on the 1st December each year and is an opportunity for people to unite in the fight against HIV and to show their support for people living with HIV.
A Rapid HIV Test involves a fingertip prick which takes a small sample of blood and is applied to the test kit, the result is available in 60 seconds. If there is a ‘reactive’ result they will be referred to the hospital where a blood test will be taken to confirm this result.
In 2015, there were 485 new diagnoses of HIV in Ireland. This is an increase of 30% compared to 2014 figures. The increase was mainly seen in Dublin where an outbreak of HIV occurred among people who injected drugs, and reporting changes meant that more cases were detected in 2015. In addition there was an increase in diagnoses among migrant men who have sex with men (MSM).
The latest figures on HIV new diagnoses in 2016 indicate ongoing high numbers of new diagnoses with 436 cases notified this year up to early November. Additionally, the World Health Organisation estimates that one third of people who are HIV Positive are not aware that they are living with HIV.
Rapid HIV testing is taking place this week in Dublin, Cork, Galway and Limerick.
Outhouse, Capel Street, Dublin between 9am and 1pm,
Panti Bar, Capel Street, Dublin between 4.30pm and 7.30pm
The George, Georges Street, Dublin between 8pm and 10pm.
The Sexual Health Centre in Cork between 9am and 5pm
Chambers Bar, Washington Street, Cork between 6pm-9pm
GOSHH (Gender, Orientation, Sexual Health, HIV) in Limerick will be welcoming anyone who would like to take a Rapid HIV Test between 9.30am and 8.30pm.
Rapid HIV Test on Tuesday 29th November between 5:00pm and 8:00pm at the Teach Solais LGBT Resource Centre, Merchants Road, Galway.