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Irish AIDS day

14 June, 2007

Sinn Féin Mid Ulster MLA Michelle O'Neill, who is the Vice Chairperson of the Assembly Health Committee has today called for a global response to tackle the AIDS pandemic spreading across the globe and more awareness of the disease in Ireland.

Ms O'Neill made her comments to mark 'Irish Aids Day' which aims to raise awareness about the disease in Ireland.

Ms O'Neill said:

"HIV is a global issue, which requires united global action and we would be foolish to believe HIV does not touch the lives of many people in Ireland. Strong words on combating HIV and Aids will mean nothing if they are not matched with action and we need to get that message and programmes of work out there in our towns and villages.

"There is a need for more research and the development of therapeutic and preventative treatments. There is also need for a greater promotion of sexual health and safe sex practices.

"Sexually Translated Infections (STIs) are also on the increase and I would urge people who are sexually active to take precautions for the sake of themselves and their partners and indeed the children who might be born with STIs.

"It is not only HIV infection that is on the increase however, STIs in general are becoming more prevalent and some of these can cause infertility if left untreated. Sexual health is not something that should be taken for granted in ourselves or others." ENDS

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