1. New HIV diagnoses are at record highs in Ireland: Provisional figures from Ireland’s Health Protection Surveillance Centre show more new HIV diagnoses were reported in 2016 than in any previous year. The final total showed about a 6% increase over 2015 figures, which had previously been the highest on record.
2. Action is needed to tackle this epidemic: The Irish government’s response to this health crisis is falling short. We want to rouse the Irish government, community stakeholders, and the public at large into action to address the ongoing epidemic.
3. Living with HIV has changed: With access to proper care and treatment, a person diagnosed with HIV today can expect to live a long, healthy life. Effective treatment means that they will not transmit the virus to sexual partners. Despite these new realities, outdated ideas about HIV persist. Stigma & discrimination hurt people living with HIV and undermine HIV prevention efforts by making people afraid to seek information, services, and care.
4. We need to tackle HIV-related stigma: Advances in treatment not only save lives, but offer powerful new ways to reduce HIV transmissions. Pre- exposure prophylaxis (or PrEP) is a safe and highly effective way for HIV-negative people to prevent HIV. Taking a single daily pill provides nearly complete protection against HIV. We in the community are ready for new prevention options like PrEP. Further delay making PrEP available in Ireland will result in needless and avoidable new transmissions.