World AIDS Day, December 1st 2005

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World AIDS day is commemorated around the globe on December 1st. Throughout the world, people celebrate the progress made in the battle against the epidemic while focusing on the challenges ahead. The World AIDS Campaign (WAC), from 2005 to 2010, is calling on individuals and groups to support the theme “Stop AIDS. Keep the promise”. Further information on World AIDS Day 2005 can be accessed on the WAC website at http://worldaidscampaign.info

According to the latest report published by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the World Health Organisation (WHO), the total number of people living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) rose in 2005 to reach its highest level, an estimated 40.3 million people. This figure includes an estimated 4.9 million people who acquired HIV in 2005. It is estimated that the global AIDS epidemic killed 3.1 million people in 2005, of which 500,000 were children.
 
Further information on the global HIV and AIDS pandemic can be found on the UNAIDS website  (www.unaids.org).

The total number of HIV infections reported in Ireland up to the end of June 2005 is 3,912. Numbers of HIV infections diagnosed in Ireland increased steadily between 1994 and 2003 (from 75 to 399 cases). Between 2003 and 2004, there was a 10% decrease in the number of cases diagnosed.

A policy of voluntary antenatal HIV testing in Ireland was introduced in 1999 on the advice of the National AIDS Strategy Committee (NASC). As part of this programme, HIV testing is offered to all women who attend for antenatal services. Between 2002 and 2004, 247 women who had previously been unaware of their HIV status, were diagnosed as HIV positive during antenatal screening. The full report may be found here.

Detailed reports on HIV and AIDS in Ireland can be found here.