“Sexual health check-ups including rapid-test HIV testing, must be both free and readily available nationwide.”

Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall TD today called for increased provision of sexual health services around the country, including rapid testing for HIV.

Speaking after taking a rapid HIV test today in Leinster House, Deputy Shortall encouraged everyone to know their status.

She said:

“Recent years have seen a worrying increase in Ireland of Sexually Transmitted Infections, including HIV. The incidence of new HIV diagnoses in Ireland has increased by 35 per cent since 2011. So far this year, an average of ten people per week have been newly diagnosed with HIV.

“These trends can be arrested – but for that to happen we need to step up the provision of sexual health services around the country, both specialist and provided by GPs. Sexual health check-ups including rapid-test HIV testing, must be both free and readily available nationwide.

“While we know that HIV is treatable, it is still a serious condition. PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylactics have been credited with a significant reduction in HIV infection rates in the UK and elsewhere, meanwhile here infection rates continue to rise steadily. The target should be close to zero new infections. That’s why, ahead of World Aids Day on Saturday, we are calling for universal access to PrEP without delay.”

ENDS

28th November 2018