Rise in recently acquired HIV in People who inject Drugs in Dublin

Published:

The Director of Public Health in Dublin has convened a multidisciplinary incident team to investigate a rise in the number of new cases of recently acquired HIV in People who inject drugs (PWID) in Dublin in 2015. Fifteen confirmed and one probable case of recently acquired HIV infection have been diagnosed in PWID in Dublin from June 2014 to June 2015.

This increase may be associated with unsafe injecting practices and/or high risk sexual behaviour and homelessness. Investigation is underway to identify any association between use of a synthetic cathinone Snow Blow leading to an increase in unsafe injecting practices and at-risk sexual behaviour, and acquisition of HIV.

GPs, doctors and clinicians working in addiction and homeless services, hospital clinics and various outreach settings have been appraised of the problem. The HSE, NGOS and other services are working to raise awareness of the risk of HIV among PWID posed by unsafe injections and unsafe sex. Measures are underway to identify further HIV cases and treat as appropriate. Other important control measures include access to needle exchange and condoms for PWID in various settings and encouraging PWID who use heroin to access methadone treatment, and further measures are being considered by the incident team.

Poster available

Further information and support is available through the HSE Drugs & Alcohol / HIV & Sexual Health Helpline on 1800 459 459 or email: helpline@hse.ie or visit www.drugs.ie or www.hivireland.ie.

For information on sexual health visit: www.yoursexualhealth.ie