December 10, 2012
The late diagnosis of HIV/AIDS continues to be a "serious problem" in Ireland, despite progress in medical treatment for HIV-infected persons. Persons who are diagnosed late do not respond as well to treatment as those whose status is determined early in the infection. The Health Protection Surveillance Centre reported 248 cases of HIV thus far in 2012, which represents a 3 percent increase over last year.
Anna Quigley, Director of the Dublin AIDS Alliance, attributes the increase in HIV incidence to lingering stigma that makes HIV-infected persons reluctant to share their status. Sexual transmission has also surpassed drug use as the most frequent source of infection in Ireland. To prevent HIV transmission and increase early detection, Quigley urged that the government adopt and fund the National Sexual Health Strategy by mid-2013.