HIV Ireland NewsDesk Weekly

8 May 2015 

This week we have plenty of news about sex education, drugs and harm reduction and drugs services funding, plus many articles about the research for HIV vaccine, new PrEP strategies, Hep C treatment and stigma, and news about the Direct Provision System.


HPSC - Weekly HIV & STI Report - Week 17, 2015
Latest data from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre for week 17 – 2015 show 11 new cases of HIV, bringing the total to 117 HIV new notifications for 2015 to date.
Are scare tactics off the table for public health campaigns targeting HIV?
Medical Xpress, 4 May 2015
Even though public health campaigns tend to emphasize positive messages and healthy behaviours, fear-based campaigns have also been used by US Health Department from time to time for HIV prevention and the debate on this kind of messaging is still open.

Pre-exposure prophylaxis to prevent HIV among MSM in Europe
ECDC, 30 April 2015
According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, EU Members States should give consideration to integrating PrEP into their existing HIV prevention measures for those most at risk of HIV infection.

People who don’t tell anyone else their HIV status have as good health outcomes as other people living with HIV
Aidsmap, 1 May 2015
21st Annual Conference of the British HIV Association (BHIVA)
A large survey of people attending HIV clinics in the UK has found that those individuals who chose not to disclose their HIV status were no more likely to suffer from depression or anxiety, to have difficulty adhering to antiretroviral therapy or to have worse HIV outcomes than the other HIV patients.

Injectable PrEP: The Next Order of the Day
Beta Blog, 4 May 2015
Scientists are testing an injectable slow release PrEP solution. The drug could remain active in the body for about 12 weeks, so that people would need a new dose just every three months.

Are You Aging Too Quickly?
HIV Plus Mag, 28 April 2015
Recent studies on people living with HIV show that even those with suppressed viral loads are experiencing a premature or ‘accelerated ageing’ process.

HIV positive workers take less than a week off
Financial Times Adviser, 6 May 2015
A study by medical financial advisers Unusual Risks has showed that even though 89 per cent of HIV positive people take in average less than a week in sick leave a year, they still find it hard to get insurance protection.

EU Court Tiptoes Around France's Gay Blood Ban
Advocate, 30 April 2015
The European Court of Justice, the European Union's highest judicial body, has ruled that France can keep its lifetime ban on blood donations by men who have — or have ever had — sex with men.

Condom use higher in young HIV-positive women with gender-equal views, study finds
Medical News Today, 2 May 2015
Published in the journal PLOS ONE, the study found that HIV-positive South African women under the age of 26 were more likely to use condoms if they had more gender-equal views, compared with women whose views were more male dominated.

HIV infection and low CD4 count associated with hardening of arteries
Aidsmap, 8 May 2015
This US study compared changes in carotid artery thickness and new plaque formation between HIV-positive and HIV-negative men and women with similar demographic and cardiovascular risk factors. People with HIV were more likely to have new plaque formation, even when their viral load was undetectable.

Five antiretroviral combinations associated with increased risk of a cardiovascular event
Aidsmap, 8 May 2015
Cardiovascular disease is an important cause of serious illness and death in people with HIV. As some medications carry more risks than others, doctors should consider the potential risk of specific medications and choose among equally effective regimens.

Hidden Menace
The Scientist, 1 May 2015
Latency is the new challenge, as scientists are looking for a way to target latently infected cells that do not produce HIV antigens and are therefore indistinguishable from uninfected cells.

Defeating the Virus
The Scientist, 1 May 2015
Developing a vaccine against HIV is a difficult process as the virus is able to mutate the proteins on its outer surface and it can also create hidden reservoirs from which it can strike again at any time. This article examines the development and the research for an effective vaccine.



Nearly Half of People With Viral Hepatitis Face Discrimination
Hep Mag, 1 May 2015
A new survey about the stigma and discrimination experienced by people living with viral hepatitis shows that as many as half of people with Hep B and C face some sort of discrimination from family members or friends, in the workplace or from health care providers.

Another study confirms detrimental effects of delaying hepatitis C treatment
Aidsmap, 5 May 2015
Clinicians used to recommend delaying Hep C treatment until a patient developed advanced disease but, with the new interferon-free direct-acting antiviral therapy available, experts now recommend starting therapy as soon as possible.



Local drugs taskforces endure budget cuts of more than 90%
Drugs, 5 May 2015
Funding for drugs and addiction services in some of the most deprived areas of the State has been cut by almost 80 per cent since 2010, according to figures provided by the Department of Health. A year-on-year breakdown of the cuts to each of the 14 local drugs taskforces shows some suffered cumulative funding cuts of more than 90 per cent in the past five years.

Drugs and homelessness in Dublin to be focus of special conference
Newstalk, 6 May 2015
The seminar, entitled "A Better City for All", will see stakeholders from homeless, drug treatment, business and law enforcement groups join forces in the hopes of coming up with practical solutions on a number of issues.

Minister wants to see supervised 'injection centres' for addicts
Irish Independent, 7 May 2015
The newly-appointment minister says he wants to see people who inject heroin in alleyways and apartment block stairwells provided with a safe, medically supervised location.
See also:
Video: Minister appeals to services to contact him to help address the drug problem.
Drugs, 7 May 2015


Twenty students infected with chlamydia at pro-abstinence Texas school which decided not to teach sex ed
Daily Mail, 5 May 2015
The school's student handbook states that the school 'does not offer a curriculum in human sexuality' and bases the sex education on abstinence.


Yes is the healthy option for LGBT patients and doctors
The Irish Times, 6 May 2015
According to the New England Journal of Medicine same-sex marriage is ‘a matter of justice and a measure that promotes health’.


Sexual Health

14-Year-Old Has The Best Response to Guys Who Don't Want To Wear A Condom
The Huffington Post, 5 May 2015
Filling out a form during sex-ed class regarding 'objections to condoms', this student owned any possibly argument frisky guys might come up with.
15 Ways You’re Using Condoms Wrong
Men’s Health, 4 May 2015
Researchers from Indiana University analysed 50 studies on condom usage, and after crunching the numbers on 16 years of data, they found a laundry list of errors.
SRE - the evidence
Sex Education Forum UK, 2015
Findings from the third British National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles and review of policies and practice of sex education.


Sex Work

10 reasons to decriminalise sex work
Open Society, April 2015
This document provides ten reasons why decriminalization of sex work is the best policy for promoting the health and human rights of sex workers, their families, and communities. 


Other Articles

Oireachtas report says direct provision should be scrapped
The Irish Times, 7 May 2015
A new report into Direct Provision in Ireland has found it is "not fit for purpose" and residents are being "failed". The report also says that people in system should be allowed to work and their allowances increased.
Direct Provision System must be made subject to Ombudsman and FOI Acts: Public Service Oversight Committee
Oireachtas press release, 7 May 2015
You can read the full report here: Oireachtas Report on the Direct Provision System
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Free HIV testing clinic 
at HIV Ireland

Our next free 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.

GUIDE Clinic

Free HIV and STI testing at the GUIDE Clinic, St. James’s Hospital every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.  See more at

GMHS Clinic
Free HIV and STI testing at the Gay Men’s Health Service Clinic (GMHS) every Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.  See more at

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

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 continuing its tour around Ireland and will be in Navan Library from 11th to 22nd 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
More Services

An information website on Hepatitis C including information on testing, services and resources:
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