Ó Caoláin calls for solidarity and support for those living with HIV/AIDS
Speaking on World AIDS day today Tuesday December 1st, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD called on people to show solidarity and support for those who are living with HIV and AIDS.
Deputy Ó Caoláin said:
“According to the World Health Organisation 35.0 million people were living with HIV/AIDS across the world in 2013. This is an issue of both local and global significance, one which Ireland is not immune from, and which requires united action.
“It is estimated that approximately 3,500 people are knowingly living with HIV in Ireland today. In the first two quarters of 2015, there have been 203 new HIV diagnoses. The number of people being diagnosed is increasing year on year and this is extremely concerning. It is already clear that this year’s overall figure will significantly exceed the 2014 recorded new cases.
“While significant progress has been made in terms of treatment for HIV, it is imperative that we challenge the dreadful stigma associated with it. The responsibility lies with all of us to break its hold.
“The Joint Committee on Health and Children, of which I am a member, convened a special meeting today, World AIDS Day, to discuss emerging trends and key responses to HIV. Appearing before the Committee were representatives from a variety of networks including Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN), HIV Ireland and the Cork Sexual Health Centre.
“It is crucially important that there was a dedicated meeting to discuss this issue and to help ensure we have an adequate response to it.”