The1st of December marks world AIDS day. There has been an increase in HIV diagnosed to date in 2014 in Ireland when compared to the same timeframe in 2013 (351 v 311).
The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) reports that the first quarter of 2014 saw the highest number of HIV diagnosis in a half yearly report since 2009.
The first quarter results show that within the new HIV diagnosis group they have a median age of 34 years, 73% were male, with the main risk factor for acquisition was men who have sex with men (MSM) , 45.9%, followed by heterosexual sex at 35.6%. Unfortunately most new diagnosis of HIV were ‘late presenters” ie those with weaker immune systems or a concurrent AIDS diagnosis. Late presenters have a disavantaged clinical outlook when compared to those who test earlier in their infection especially in the first two years after diagnosis. Testing and early engagement in care is key to patients doing well. For the most part those who are diagnosed early can go on to lead normal, healthy, fulfilled lives, and often only need to take one tablet a day to keep HIV dormant in their blood. Many can have healthy sex lives without the risk of passing HIV on to their partners. Testing for HIV is simple and should be integral to any routine sexual health check up. At Himerus Health patients can opt for rapid HIV testing whereby they will receive their results in 10mins.