Press Release

Minister Lenihan opens HIV Conference and launches HIV Services Directory

Mr. Brian Lenihan T.D. Minister for State at the Department of Health and Children today (8 April 2003) officially opened the HIV Services Network (HSN) Conference and launched the HIV Services Directory.

The theme of this conference was Hepatitis C (HCV) and HCV/HIV Co- infection. The aim of the conference was to provide and exchange information on this area and to clarify issues in relation to prevention, treatment side effects and sexual transmissions.

Remarking on the latest figures for HIV the Minister stated “the number of new HIV cases reported has been increasing in the last number of years. The latest statistics published by the National Disease Surveillance Centre show an increase in the numbers of reported cases of HIV. There were 299 new HIV cases reported during 2001, compared with 290 in 1999 and for the first half of 2002 newly reported HIV cases amount to 157. The total number of HIV infections in Ireland is now at 2,802. We therefore must not become complacent.”

The Minister paid tribute to the work of the HSN and said “a conference such as this provides a valuable opportunity for this type of networking and sharing of information and contributes to making HSN as useful as it is. The previous two conferences were successful and received positive feedback, which is testament to the need for such a forum.”

Commenting on the second edition of the HIV Services Directory Minister Lenihan said “the new edition which is being funded by theHealth Promotion Unitcontains updated information, contacts and needle exchange services within the Eastern Regional Health Authority and a website has been developed which can guide users to the nearest HIV or sexual screening centre in each region. I am sure that this new edition and the website will prove to be as successful and beneficial as the first publication.”