Eamon Ryan says PrEP should be made available to at risk groups; says public health crisis looms unless action is taken.
Speaking in the Dáil today, Green Party leader Eamon Ryan raised the increase in HIV diagnosis rates had increased by 30% from 2014 to 2015, according to last month’s HIV in Ireland report from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre. He implored the Government to “listen to the advice” coming from experts and from community health activists that PrEP (pre exposure prophylaxis) should be made more widely available to combat infections.
“According to official figures, we are seeing HIV infection figures in Ireland that are greater than at any point in the 1980s or 1990s. The infection rate has hit 10.6 per 100,000 in Ireland in 2015, compared with an average EU rate of 6.3 per 100,000.
“The Government has failed to grasp that there is a very serious potential public health crisis that is going unaddressed. The Green Party is calling for all proven, reliable tools to be made available to halt the rate of infection increasing. This includes urgent measures to make PrEP (pre exposure prophylaxis) available more quickly to at risk groups such as men who have sex with men (MSM).
Joining the call, Green Party Councillor Roderic O’Gorman said that the Government must ensure that funding for HIV testing services be guaranteed in the future, in particular for programmes such as the very successful Know Now rapid HIV testing service implemented countrywide recently with National Lottery support.
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