17/06/2015

Number Of People With HIV Almost Doubles In Ten Years – PHA

Northern Ireland had the biggest rise in new HIV diagnoses compared to the rest of the UK between 2000-2013, according to new figures.

The number of people living with HIV has almost doubled over the last two years, the Public Health Agency (PHA) has announced.

Dr Louise Herron, Consultant in Public Health Medicine at the PHA, said: "By having unprotected sex you could effectively be sleeping with everyone your partner's ever slept with, putting yourself at risk of getting HIV or another STI."

The PHA is launching a new campaign aimed at improving and protecting people's sexual health and wellbeing.

Dr Herron continued: "This new campaign aims to promote good sexual health and contribute to reducing STIs in Northern Ireland.

"The Health Survey Northern Ireland 2013/14 found that in the 16-24 age group, around a quarter of people said that they had three or more sexual partners in the last year.
News Image
"The Health Survey also indicated that nearly a third of people agreed that drinking alcohol had contributed to them having sex without using a condom. That's why it is so important that both men and women plan ahead, prepare for the possibility of sex, and carry condoms."

The campaign will target 16-34 year olds as this age group has the highest rate of STIs, and it will encourage them to protect themselves.

Sinn Féin MLA Maeve McLaughlin said: "The rise in the rates of sexually transmitted infections, particularly among young people, is a worrying development.

"I visited the sexual health clinic at the Royal Victoria Hospital recently along with the Assembly health committee and met with staff who are carrying out great work under very challenging circumstances.

"I would encourage anyone who is concerned about their sexual health to avail of the services that are available at local sexual health clinics."

(CD/JP)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

16 April 2019
Fire Service Lowers 'People At Risk' Age To 50 And Older
The Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) has lowered the age group of those deemed most at risk from accidental house fires to people aged 50 and older. It follows the death of 19 people in the last three years, 17 of which were aged over 50. Nine of the victims were aged 50-59 and a further eight were 60 and above.
27 February 2008
Shadow Of AIDS Cast Over Ireland
A massive 300% increase in the number of AIDS cases diagnosed in Northern Ireland each year over the past decade has been revealed - and levels in the Irish Republic are rising too. Northern Ireland's Chief Medical Officer Dr Michael McBride said population mobillity was responsible for the huge rise.
27 July 2004
BMA warns of sex health 'crisis' as infection rates rise
The British Medical Association (BMA) has claimed that Britain's sexual health is now at crisis point after official figures revealed that diagnoses of infections had risen by 4%.
05 November 2013
Child Sexual Exploitation Inquiry Chair Announced
Kathleen Marshall has been named to lead the independent inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Northern Ireland. Mrs Marshall was the former Commissioner for Children and Young People in Scotland and was also part of the team which undertook the Youth Justice Review in Northern Ireland.
10 November 2011
Mental Health Issues No Workforce Barrier
People with mental health issues are making a significant contribution to the workforce. Far from being any burden, the Employment and Learning Minister, Dr Stephen Farry, has highlighted the significant contribution that those with mental health issues make to Northern Ireland's workforce.