Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald TD has said more must be done to stamp out stigma associated with HIV and ensure that people can access much-needed services without delay.
Speaking today on World AIDS Day, Teachta McDonald said:
“This theme of World AIDS Day this year is ‘End inequality. End AIDS. End pandemics’.
“I want to thank all those working to highlight the experiences of people living with HIV and ensure their voices are heard. I want to commend HIV Ireland for their ongoing work in raising awareness about this crucial issue.
“Much more remains to be done to ensure that stigma is stamped out and that people can access the services they need without delays.
“The Government has a critical role to play in adequately funding HIV prevention and support services to ensure that this is resolved.
“The United Nations has warned that the world risks missing the target to end AIDS by 2030, due to rising inequality and disruption to services caused by the pandemic. It is vital that governments do everything possible to ensure this target is back on track. Here in Ireland, that means the government must ensure continued targeted investment in HIV testing, PrEP services, and awareness and outreach programmes in order to meet our commitments under the Fast-Track Cities initiative.
“I am concerned that the Sexual Health Strategy expired in 2020. The new Strategy needs to be completed and published with targets and funding commitments to 2030.
“Vacant posts in PrEP services must be filled urgently, such as the vacancy in Cork South Infirmary, as these vacancies are hampering PrEP services’ ability to see new service users. People who need to access PrEP must be able to do so without unnecessary delays.”