World AIDS Day 2022
Forty years since the first reports of HIV and AIDS in Ireland in 1982, HIV remains a significant public health issue in Ireland. Surveillance of HIV is vital for understanding and responding to the latest trends and features of the HIV epidemic in Ireland and high-quality data are necessary to monitor the progress towards UNAIDS targets and to measure the impact of HIV prevention campaigns.
There was a decrease in HIV diagnoses in Ireland in 2020 and 2021 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic (1). HIV diagnoses in 2022 have increased due to a number of factors including resumption of normal testing services and increased migration to Ireland of people who are living with HIV, including people who have been displaced from Ukraine. The majority of HIV diagnoses in Ireland in 2022 are in people who were previously diagnosed HIV positive outside Ireland.
In order to halt the transmission of HIV and to achieve the target issued by UNAIDS for zero new infections by 2030, it is vital that there is a focus on combination HIV prevention approaches (2). For all people diagnosed with HIV in Ireland, it is of utmost importance that they are engaged in care as soon as possible after diagnosis and start (or continue taking) antiretroviral therapy (ART), both for their own optimal health benefit and to prevent transmission of HIV.
An updated slide set on the latest trends of HIV in Ireland to the end of 2021 is available at https://www.hpsc.ie/a-z/hivandaids/hivdataandreports/. A new report titled 'Update on Epidemiology of HIV in Ireland, November 2022', which includes provisional 2022 data, is also available at https://www.hpsc.ie/a-z/hivandaids/hivdataandreports/2022reports/.