HIV Ireland NewsDesk Weekly

1 May 2015 

The main features of this week's NewsDesk are HIV testing and self-testing, with articles about the first approved home testing kit and the various issues people might experience when testing at home or in a clinic. We also have stories about HIV stigma, prevention, and treatment research, plus articles on Hepatitis C in Ireland and STIs.



HPSC - Weekly HIV & STI Report - Week 16, 2015
Latest data from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre for week 16 – 2015 show 4 new cases of HIV, bringing the total to 106 HIV new notifications for 2015 to date.

First HIV home test approved for sale in UK
Aidsmap, 27 April 2015
The first legally approved HIV self-test kit that allows people to get a result in 15 minutes at home has gone on sale in England, Scotland and Wales. Unlike other kits, these tests do not need to be sent off to a lab to get the results.
See also:
World's first HIV self-testing kit goes on sale and can offer diagnosis in 15 minutes
The Mirror, 27 April 2015
HIV home-testing kit: Concerns for people who may get a life-changing diagnosis while alone
Manchester Evening News, 27 April 2015
The first approved HIV home-testing kit in Britain has raised concerns that people could get a life-changing diagnosis while being alone. While sexual health support groups say it could cut the huge rate of undiagnosed cases, they are worried that anyone testing positive could be unsure where to turn for help.
Why I Wish I'd Received My HIV Diagnosis At Home
Vice, 28 April 2015
The author relates his upsetting experience of testing in an NHS clinic.
HIV: Testing ourselves out of the epidemic?
Incidence 0, 29 April 2015
Opinion piece: the problems faced by HIV prevention are much deeper than what self-testing can address and other interventions are urgently needed to address sociocultural issues.

Screening for HIV in GP surgeries leads to increased and earlier diagnosis
Queen Mary University, 29 April 2015
According to a new study led by Queen Mary University of London, training GPs to offer rapid HIV tests leads to increased detection and earlier diagnosis of patients with HIV infection.

Many undiagnosed HIV infections picked up when testing people who have other medical conditions, but implementation challenges remain
Aidsmap, 30 April 2015
The results of a study presented to the BHIVA conference in Brighton last week, show the importance of getting non-HIV specialist clinicians to consider HIV testing in patients with a wide range of illnesses that might be indicative of HIV infection.

7 Institutions of HIV Infection
Advocate, 26 April 2015
How teachings, policies and beliefs can keep HIV alive.

HIV prevention and risk behaviors follow weekly patterns
Eureka Alert, 27 April 2015
According to a new study, the peak time for seeking information on topics related to HIV, such as prevention and testing, is at the beginning of the week, while risky sexual behaviours tend to increase on the weekends.

Magazine prints cover with ink that contains HIV-positive blood
CNet, 30 April 2015
A special edition of Vienna-based Vangardist seeks to get people talking about HIV and AIDS, but at least one reader "was too scared to pick it up."
See also:
Vangardist Magazine confronts HIV+ 'head-on' with blood-infused ink
Saatchi & Saatchi, April 2015
To combat the stigma surrounding HIV, men’s monthly magazine Vangardist has printed all 3,000 copies of its May issue with HIV positive blood. 

ECJ rules ban on gay men giving blood ‘may be justified’
The Irish Times, 29 April 2015
The European Court of Justice has ruled that a ban on the transfer of blood from men who have engaged in sexual relations with other men “may be justified” in certain circumstances if it can be established that donors are at a high risk of acquiring severe infectious diseases.

HIV Prevention Through Social Media
Liberty Voice, 27 April 2015
Social media, chat rooms, videogames and social networking are now considered a powerful HIV prevention tool to reach young people and groups at risk. 

UKIP letter claims British people can’t get HIV treatment because of immigrants
Pink News, 29 April 2015
The party has shared a letter on social media from an unnamed British man, who claims he can no longer see a doctor for HIV treatment because of “immigrants”.

Many people living with HIV willing to take part in cure research, despite its risks
Aidsmap, 24 April 2015
People living with HIV have a great interest in taking part in studies towards an HIV cure, even though they are aware of the many risks involved and they would unlikely benefit personally from cure research.

Stopping HIV in its tracks: New subdermal implant delivers potent antiretroviral drugs
Science Daily, 28 April 2015
Scientists say that they have developed a matchstick size implant that successfully delivers a controlled, sustained release of ARV drugs up to 40 days with no adverse side effects.

New vaccine can improve HIV treatment
Zee News, 29 April 2015
According to a new clinical research, a vaccine containing a protein necessary for virus replication can boost an HIV-infected patient's immune system. This boost can result in increased effectiveness of antiretroviral drugs.

Calls for protection insurance to be more widely available to HIV Positive people
Health Insurance, 28 April 2015
There are renewed calls for more protection insurance products to be developed for people living with HIV, as figures reveal that new medications are helping many more individuals with the condition to remain at work for longer than in the past.

Gender equality linked with higher condom use in HIV positive young women in South Africa
Eureka Alert, 29 April 2015
Young HIV positive women are more likely to practice safer sex if they have an equitable perception of gender roles, according to new research carried out at the University of Southampton.



Irish patients ‘dying while waiting’ for Hepatitis C drugs
Irish Times, 27 April 2015
The HSE National Service Plan for 2015 has been provided with €30 million to begin the phased rollout of the treatment programme and treat at least 400 people with severe liver disease.
Related article:
Anger over delay in NHS introducing new hepatitis C treatment
Portsmouth News, 28 April 2015

Systematic review shows hepatitis B and C testing lacking in many European countries
News Medical, 25 April 2015
According to results from a comprehensive review of 136 studies presented at The International Liver CongressTM 2015, the apparent lack of research on hepatitis B and C testing in many European countries could be holding back efforts to identify infected individuals.

Hepatitis C linked to increased risk of liver cancer, other cancers
Medical News Today, 27 April 2015
Researchers know already that patients with hepatitis C are at increased risk of liver cancer. But a new study recently presented at the International Liver Congress in Vienna has found that hepatitis C may also raise the risk of developing other cancers.



Doctors may be missing many cases of gonorrhea and chlamydia in women
Washington Post, 29 April 2015
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University report that doctors may be failing to detect large numbers of gonorrhoea and chlamydia infections in women if they don't test patients' throats and rectums for the sexually transmitted diseases.

Spotlight on: getting tested for a sexually transmitted infection
Her, 27 April 2015
What to expect when you go to get tested for a sexually transmitted infection.

Maps reveal the most Googled STIs by region
Daily Mail, 29 April 2015
Analysis of Google search results has revealed the areas in Europe and the United States most concerned with different sexually transmitted diseases.


Sexual Health

When Sex Ed Discusses Gender Inequality, Sex Gets Safer
The Atlantic, 27 April 2015
A new study shows a "striking" difference in effectiveness between sex education programs that address gender and power, and those that don't.
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Testing Services


Free monthly HIV testing clinic 
at HIV Ireland

Our next monthly HIV and STI testing clinic takes place on Wednesday 13th May 2015.  This is a free, walk-in service.  For more details and further testing dates see

GMHS Outreach Clinic

The Gay Men’s Health Service outreach testing clinic takes place in Outhouse LGBT Community Centre on the third Saturday of every month.  The next clinic date is Saturday 16th May, doors open 1:30pm.
Free Condoms


Just Carry One
HIV Ireland offers a drop-in free condoms service.  Drop into our offices during opening hours for your free condoms, and follow our social media STI prevention campaign at
Training Services

Training for Trainers: Let’s Talk About… Safer Sex

This four-day training for trainers programme commences on Tuesday 12th May, and is now open for bookings.  More information and booking forms available at   

***New*** Living with HIV in Direct Provision
This newly developed one-day training course introduces key aspects of working with people who are living with HIV in Direct Provision and will be beneficial for professionals who work with asylum seekers and people living in Direct Provision.  The course takes place on Thursday 7th May 2015.  More information and booking forms are available at

HIV: An overview for Counsellors

This one-day training course, primarily for counsellors, therapists and other mental health workers, takes place on Thursday 21st May 2015.  More information and bookings forms are available at

MSM Internet Survey Ireland (MISI) 2015
The National Men’s Gay Sex Survey opened for participation on 1st March 2015 and remains open until 31st May. More information at

Speaking Volumes

HIV stories, HIV experiences...this exhibition is now in Drogheda Library until 8th May.  More information on this Irish tour at

13th Annual Gay Health Forum (GHF13)

GHF13 takes place on Friday 5th June in Dublin Castle.  This is a free event.  For registration information and a draft programme, email


LGV infections are increasing in Ireland amongst sexually active gay and bisexual men, and amongst men living with HIV.  A new web page has been developed on the website to raise awareness about symptoms, transmission, prevention and testing.  See more at:

The YesEquality campaign encourages people to register to vote, pledge to vote and have their voices heard in this year’s Marriage Equality Referendum on 22nd May 2015.  See more at
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