For Saturday the 15th June , IRISH AIDS DAY

AIDS West will be on the streets of the city this Saturday distributing red ribbons and creating awareness by asking people wear a red ribbon.

According to Evelyn Stephens co- founder of AIDS West “Irish AIDS Day all started over 20 years ago as a way of trying to raise awareness of the issue of AIDS and as a much needed fundraiser for the organisations nationwide. We we’re always trying to get publicity on local radio and papers, which wasn’t that easy at the time.

John Flannery, manager of AIDS WEST says that “back then Ireland was bit of a backwater compared to most other European countries when it came to the whole area of sex. Contraception was still only by prescription, sex outside marriage “didn’t happen”( or that’s what people wanted to believe) and sex between same sex couples was a criminal offence. So to highlight the treat that HIV held for Irish society and maybe help break down barriers , the national HIV Support Network ( of which AIDS West is a member) and other groups working in the field decided that having an Irish AIDS Day would help create greater awareness around HIV issue says. Today this issue is as relevant as ever. The most recent figures show that there were 341 new diagnosis of HIV reported in 2012 , that’s almost one person a day in Ireland being infected . This represents

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a 7% increase on the previous year. So Irish AIDS Day brings awareness about HIV to public awareness. One thing that remains constant over the years is stigma, discrimination and isolation experienced by people living with HIV”.

AIDS West, based in Galway provides vital information , education and support in relation to HIV/AIDS and all aspects of sexual health.

For more information and services call (091) 566 266 or email info@aidswest.ie or you can down load our APP for free called “the sexual health guide”


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