Press Release

Minister of State meets Executive Director of UNAIDS

Dr Tom Moffatt, TD, Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children and chairman of the National AIDS Strategy Committee has met Dr Peter Piot, Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations.

Dr Moffatt was accompanied by members of the National AIDS Strategy Committee (NASC) and senior officials from his Department.

In December 2001, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) secretariat and the World Health Organisation (WHO) reported that over 40 million men, women and children around the world were living with the HIV virus or had developed full blown AIDS.

Over the last 20 years, HIV has generated an AIDS epidemic that has spread to every part of the world.

During the meeting Dr Moffatt gave an overview of the prevalence rates for HIV and how the pattern of infection has changed in Ireland in recent years, noting that figures in recent years were worrying with newly reported cases in 2000 (290 cases) being the highest since reporting began. “HIV cases continue to rise in Ireland. Antiretroviral treatments are effective in the treatment of HIV but we must not become complacent” said Dr Moffatt. “The NASC and my Department will continue to work to implement the recommendations of AIDS Strategy 2000 – the policy document I published in June 2001”