Dublin AIDS Alliance Hold Gathering to Highlight World AIDS Day

As part of World AIDS Day on December 1st, Dublin AIDS Alliance will be holding a community gathering this Sunday.

The event will take place at The Front Lounge on Parliament Street from 3 – 6 pm where there will be music from Jamie Nanci and The Blue Boys.

“Sunday is a day that people working in the area can celebrate and also celebrate how far we have come,” said Dr. Erin Nugent of the Dublin AIDS Alliance. Dr. Nugent said the event will highlight the need for regular testing and said only once you’re given a screen do you know your status.

The event comes on the back of some other pivotal events around HIV testing, earlier this week the Dublin AIDS Alliance united with the rest of Europe for European HIV Testing Week –­ highlighting the need for regular testing and the importance of looking after your own health.

Just this week a screening program based in Dublin’s Mater Hospital found a high rate of undiagnosed HIV infections in the capital with 3 in every one thousand participants diagnosed as positive. Separately the latest national figures suggest there have been 315 diagnosed cases of HIV this year, not including 6 last week. Those numbers are also indicative of statistics from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention in the US showing a 20% rise in men who have unprotected sex.

“People who are diagnosed early and have access to treatment can expect the same life expectancy as that of HIV negative individuals. Furthermore, those that are on HIV treatment have a significantly reduced chance of transmitting HIV to other people,” said Dr. Nugent.

The event in the Front Lounge on Sunday has been welcomed broadly by Dublin City Council and by the Lord Mayor Oisin Quinn, who even got screened himself to highlight its importance.

“Dublin as a city is focused on driving the message of HIV Testing to all its visitors and citizens. I would encourage anyone to take the test and not to feel stigmatised in any way,” said the Mayor.

By Liam Cahill