DATA SHOWS HIV CASES DOWN 10.8%
Irish Times 15/06/2005
BY EITHNE DONNELLAN, HEALTH CORRESPONDENT
Just one of 113 babies born last year ended up testing
HIV-positive, according to figures published by
the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HSPSC)
yesterday. Mother-to-child transmission of HIV can
be dramatically reduced or prevented if the mother
is given special treatment to prevent her passing
on the infection before or during her pregnancy.
All pregnant women are offered HIV screening and,
while uptake is voluntary, at least 95 per cent
of women opt for it. Dr Mary Cronin, a specialist
in public health medicine with the HSPSC, said the
fact that only one of a total of 113 babies born
to HIV-infection underlined the success of the antenatal
Her comments came as the HSPSC published figures
for all newly diagnosed HIV infections in the State
in 2004. They indicate there were 356 newly diagnosed
cases last year, a 10.8 per cent reduction on the
previous year. The average age of those diagnosed
was 31 years, and 130 of those infected had been
born in sub-Saharan Africa. Some 192 of those diagnosed
were male, 161 were female and gender was unknown
in three cases. In five cases the diagnoses was
made in children.
Half of the infections were acquired through heterosexual
contact. Of the remainder, some 62 cases were diagnosed
among gay men and 71 among injecting drug-users.
To date, a total of 3,764 cases of HIV infection
have been reported in the Republic.
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