June 15th, Irish AIDS Day


Today is a the Day in Ireland we remember those who have died of AIDS and commit to helping those living with HIV/AIDS in Ireland and abroad.

As part of this a new site launched today which I mentioned during the week Stampoutstigma.ie. This site is aimed at creating awareness of the another thing that kills people with HIV/AIDS. The campiagn has two aims:

1. A year long process to tackle the stigma associated with HIV while further challenging both direct and indirect discrimination experienced by people living with HIV in Ireland, while informing and learning from experiences in developing countries.

2. To promote an understanding of HIV while highlighting the irrationality of stigma and discrimination at home and abroad.

Please, you have a chance wear a Red Ribbon today and show your support.

I sincerely hope they succeed in their aims and I leave you with the words of Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa:

Many people suffering from AIDS are not killed by the disease itself. They are killed by the stigma and discrimination suurounding everyone with HIV and AIDS.

Excellent video on Crystal Meth and HIV

‘MAKE-IT-OR-BREAK-IT’ AIDS CHALLENGE REQUIRES EXTRAORDINARY RESPONSE: UN AGENCY CHIEF

The head of the main United Nations agency dealing with HIV/AIDS today said the global threat posed by the disease requires an extraordinary response.

“We are already witnessing a new form of AIDS ‘denialism,’ which maintains that AIDS must be treated as simply one of many public health crises,” the Executive Director of the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (<"http://www.unaids.org/en/AboutUNAIDS/Governance/200609-19PCB.asp">UNAIDS) Dr. Peter Piot said, opening the agency’s 19th board meeting in Lusaka, Zambia.

“AIDS is exceptional – it is a make-or-break challenge, like global warming – and its exceptionality must be maintained.”

While noting that “prevention finally found it voice in 2006,” he added much still needs to be improved.

Dr. Piot emphasized the need for predictable financing and annual increases in funding in order to improve universal access to HIV prevention and treatment, as well as boost development of new technologies for drugs and vaccines. He stated the greatest challenge of the programme in this new phase will be the struggle for social change.

Mr. Piot thanked outgoing Secretary-General Kofi Annan for his leadership in the global fight against AIDS, and welcomed his successor, Ban Ki-moon, who takes over at the UN’s helm in January.

European Parliament resolution on AIDS

The European Parliament ,

– having regard to its resolution of 6 July 2006 entitled “HIV/AIDS: Time to Deliver”(1) and its resolution of 2 December 2004 on World Aids Day(2) ,

– having regard to World AIDS Day on 1 December 2006 and its theme: “Accountability: Stop AIDS, Keep the Promise”,

– having regard to the UNAIDS(3) 2006 AIDS Epidemic Update, published on 21 November 2006,

– having regard to the UN High Level Meeting to review progress on the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS, held from 31 May to 2 June 2006,

– having regard to the XVI International AIDS Conference, held in Toronto in August 2006,

– having regard to the Commission Communication to the European Parliament and the Council of 27 April 2005 entitled ‘European Programme for Action to Confront HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis through External Action (2007-2011)(4) , which covers all developing countries,

– having regard to the Commission Communication to the European Parliament and the Council on combating HIV/AIDS within the European Union and in the neighbouring countries, 2006-2009, of 15 December 2005,(5)

– having regard to the G8 Summit held at Gleneagles in July 2005 and the commitment which the UN undertook in 2005 to achieving universal access to prevention treatment and care by 2010,

– having regard to Rule 103(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas more than 25 million people have died from AIDS since the first identified case of the disease 25 years ago,

B. whereas there were 4.3 million new cases of infection in 2006, 2.8 million (65%) of which were in Sub-Saharan Africa alone, according to the UNAIDS’ update report published on 21 November 2006,

C. whereas over 95% of the 39.5 million people in the world suffering from HIV/AIDS live in developing countries,

D. whereas there are indications that infection rates in Eastern Europe and Central Asia have risen by more than 50% since 2004, and only in a few countries have new infections actually declined,

E. whereas, of the 6.8 million people living with HIV in low and middle-income countries and in need of anti-retroviral medication, only 24% have access to the necessary treatment,

F. whereas there are an estimated 15 million HIV/AIDS orphans globally, 12.3 million of them living in Sub-Saharan Africa,

G. whereas only 5% of HIV-positive children receive medical help, and fewer than 10% of the 15 million already orphaned by AIDS get financial support,

H. whereas older siblings and grandparents take on responsibility for often large numbers of AIDS orphans, and the dying generation of HIV/AIDS-infected young adults is leaving some countries with too few teachers, nurses, doctors and other key professionals,

I. whereas AIDS disproportionately affects the generation of economically active young people,

J. whereas women now account for 50% of people living with HIV worldwide and nearly 60% of people living with HIV in Africa,

K. whereas the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will only be achieved if sexual and reproductive health issues are fully integrated into the MDG agenda,

L. whereas sexual and reproductive health is dependent upon the prevention of HIV and of other diseases linked to poverty ,

M. whereas people living with HIV have special reproductive health needs in terms of family planning, safe birthing and the breastfeeding of babies, which are often overlooked in spite of the growing number of women succumbing to the epidemic,

N. whereas the US Bush administration continues to block funding for non-US development NGOs that counsel on the full range of reproductive health services; and whereas the majority of this “decency gap” has been filled by the EU for the poorest countries,

O. whereas the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) of 1994 and ICPD follow-up work undertaken in 1999 and 2004 reaffirmed the importance of empowering women and providing them with more choices by improving their access to sexual and reproductive health education, information and care,

P. whereas five years after the Doha Declaration, rich countries are still failing to fulfil their obligation to ensure that cheaper life-saving drugs are available in developing countries,

Q. whereas five years after the Doha Declaration, which stated that “each member state of the WTO has the right to grant compulsory licenses and the freedom to determine the grounds upon which such licenses are granted”, the WHO warns that 74% of AIDS medicines are still under monopoly and 77% of Africans still have no access to AIDS treatment,

R. whereas fierce competition in the generic pharmaceuticals industry has helped prices for first-line AIDS drug regimens fall by 99% since 2000, from USD10,000 to roughly USD130 per patient per year, although prices for second-line drugs – which patients need as resistance develops naturally – remain high, mostly owing to increased use of patents in key generic pharmaceutical-producing countries,

S. whereas in the negotiation of bilateral trade deals, agreements should not limit how countries may use public-health safeguards,

HIV/AIDS in the world

1. Expresses its deepest concern at the spread of HIV/AIDS and other epidemics among the poorest peoples in the world and at the lack of focus on the prevention of HIV/AIDS, the inaccessibility of key medicines, the insufficiency of funding and the continuing need for more research into the major epidemics;

2. Stresses the importance of the accountability of governments, health service providers, the pharmaceuticals industry, NGOs, civil society and others involved in prevention, treatment and care;

3. Calls on all international donors to work to ensure that HIV prevention programmes reach the people most at risk of infection, as identified in the UNAIDS conclusion that these vulnerable groups are not being provided for;

4. Stresses the need for the EU to fund specific programmes to ensure that children affected by the AIDS epidemic by the loss of one or both parents or by contracting the disease themselves remain in education and are supported;

5. Calls for all aid programmes to make sure that, once a patient starts a course of treatment, funding is provided so that treatment can continue to be provided uninterruptedly, in order to prevent the increased drug resistance that results from the interruption of treatment;

6. Stresses the need for the EU to fund programmes to protect women from all forms of violence that favour the spread of AIDS and to ensure that victims are afforded access to health services and the opportunity to reintegrate into society and to combat the stigma that often affects victims of such violence;

7. Stresses the need for an overall funding increase from donors in future years for all contraceptive supplies, including condoms for HIV prevention, to fill the gap between supplies and availability to purchase them;

8. Calls on the IMF to end monetary conditions and abolish fiscal ceilings that force countries to restrict spending on public health and education;

9. Calls on the newly elected US Congress to overturn the Bush administration’s “global gag rule”, which stops funding from non-US NGOs to any reproductive health organisations that counsel on abortion, and calls on the Commission and Member States to ensure that the US government reverses its “global gag” on reproductive health spending;

10. Repeats its concern, expressed also recently by the WHO, that some African governments are charging a sales or import tax on antiretrovirals and other drugs, which then makes the drugs unaffordable to poor communities; urges the Commission to investigate this and to encourage governments to abolish such taxes;

Sexual and reproductive health

11. Stresses that the strategies needed to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic effectively must include a comprehensive approach to prevention, education, care and treatment and must include the technologies currently in use, improved access to treatment and the development of vaccines as a matter of urgency;

12. Calls on the European Commission and the governments of the European Union’s partner countries to ensure that health and education, and HIV/AIDS and sexual and reproductive health in particular, are prioritised in Country Strategy Papers;

13. Calls on the Commission and Member States to support programmes that combat homophobia and break down the barriers that prevent the disease from being addressed effectively, especially in Cambodia, China, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand and Vietnam and across Latin America, where there is increasing evidence of HIV outbreaks among men who have sex with other men;

14. Expresses concern that the UNAIDS report highlights that levels of knowledge of safe sex and HIV remain low in many countries, including those in which the epidemic has had a high impact; calls, in this regard, for information, education and counselling on responsible sexual behaviour and effective prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, to become integral components of all reproductive and sexual health services;

15. Welcomes the inclusion of research into HIV/AIDS in the 7th Framework Programme of the European Community for research, technical development and demonstration activities and calls for support for research into vaccines and microbicides, diagnostic and monitoring tools suited to the needs of developing countries, and the study of epidemic transmission patterns and social and behavioural trends; underlines that women must be involved in all appropriate clinical research, including vaccine trials;

16. Calls for investment in the development of prevention methods that may be used by women, such as microbicides, condoms for women and post-exposure prophylaxis for rape victims;

Access to medicines

17. Encourages governments to use all means available to them under the TRIPs Agreement, such as compulsory licences, and for the WHO and the WTO and its members to review the whole TRIPs Agreement with a view to improving access to medicines;

18. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to now recognise, five years after the adoption of the Doha Declaration, that its application has been a failure, inasmuch as the WTO has received no notification from an exporting or importing country of compulsory medicines nor any such notification under the Decision of 30 August 2003 of the General Council of the WTO on implementing paragraph 6 of the Doha Declaration;

19. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to take the necessary steps within the WTO, in association with the developing countries, to modify the TRIPS Agreement and its provisions based on the Decision of 30 August 2003 (Article 31a), in order in particular to abolish the complex and time-consuming procedural steps in the authorisation of compulsory licenses;

20. Meanwhile, encourages and calls on all countries facing major epidemics to make immediate use of Article 30 of the TRIPS Agreement to access the necessary medicines without paying patent royalties to right-owners;

21. Calls on the Commission to increase to EUR 1 billion the EU’s contribution to the global fund against HIV/AIDS, malaria and TB, as clearly requested by the European Parliament in its above-mentioned resolution of 2 December 2004, and on all Member States and G8 members to increase their contribution to EUR 7 billion in 2007 and EUR 8 billion in 2008, in order to provide UNAIDS with the resources necessary to reduce the extent of these epidemics;

22. Calls on the EU to clarify that it will not push for TRIPS-plus measures within Economic Partnership Agreements and that developing countries will be guaranteed the policy space to use TRIPS flexibilities freely;

23. Supports the commitment undertaken by heads of state and government at the 2005 UN World Summit calling for universal access to HIV/AIDS prevention services, treatment and care by 2010; believes, however, that a clear plan for funding universal access should be developed and international and interim progress targets set;

24. Stresses that strong public health services, including research facilities, are essential in order to fight the epidemic, and opposes the situation of conditionality leading to their liberalisation;

25. Calls for greater investment in the development and provision of paediatric formulations for children;

26. Calls for support for development of regional and national generic pharmaceutical-producing industries in affected areas with a view to facilitating access to affordable drugs;

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27. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments of the EU Member States and ACP countries, the IMF, the Government of the United States, the UN Secretary-General and the heads of UNAIDS, UNDP and UNFPA.


as promised when i posted here

ON WORLD AIDS DAY, UN LEADERS UNDERLINE NEED FOR ACCOUNTABILITY

Stressing this year’s theme of accountability, senior officials from across
the United Nations system have marked World AIDS Day with calls for
international leaders to maintain recent momentum and make good on their
promises to ensure greater access to treatment, prevention and support.

“The latest global AIDS figures give us reason for concern and for some
hope,” said Peter Piot, Executive Director of the Joint United Nations
Programme on HIV/AIDS, (UNAIDS), in one of a series of messages today by
the heads of UN organs and agencies.

Almost 40 million people live with HIV and another 4.3 million will be
infected this year, while at least 25 million others have died from
AIDS-related diseases in the 25 years since the first case was reported.
The pandemic is now the leading cause of death among both men and women
aged between 15 and 59.

Yet the number of countries providing antiretroviral (ARV) treatment to
sufferers and the breadth of access to HIV testing, counselling services
and health care have also continued to expand, including in sub-Saharan
Africa, the region hardest hit by AIDS.

“However, we must increase the scale and impact of HIV prevention
activities, including those directed at the drivers of the epidemic,” Dr.
Piot said. “New data show that HIV prevention programmes have better
results if focused on reaching people most at risk and adapted to changing
national epidemics.”

General Assembly President Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa said the theme of
accountability applied to everyone, from world leaders who have previously
vowed to improve reproductive health care services and information,
particularly for women, to individuals who can help establish healthy
behaviour when their children are young.

“The challenge for all of us is to make good on our commitments and work in
closer partnership towards our common goal. Civil society, NGOs
[non-governmental organizations], the media, private sector and faith
groups have an important role in promoting public awareness and holding
leaders to account for their promises,” she said.

Anders Nordström, Acting Director-General of the UN World Health
Organization (WHO), said the international community had reached “a
critical juncture” and needed to become smarter and more adaptable as it
responded to HIV/AIDS.

“We have to be… aware of which approaches are successful, and flexible
enough to adapt our resources accordingly,” Dr. Nordström said. “We do not
just need ‘more.’ We need to commit to clear-sightedness about what is
working and what is not – and quickly apply that knowledge.”

Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime
(UNODC), warned against the stigmatization and marginalization of people
living with HIV/AIDS, especially women, young people, injecting drug users,
prisoners and victims of human trafficking – all groups that are
particularly vulnerable to the pandemic.

The UN Population Fund’s (UNFPA) Executive Director, Thoraya Ahmed Obaid,
saw signs of hope among the young, noting that HIV prevalence rates among
youth have fallen in several countries because of increased condom use and
other behavioural changes.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour said it was vital that
Member States are made to live up to their earlier commitments to
eventually provide universal access to comprehensive prevention programmes,
treatment, care and support by 2010.

Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP),
said it was important to recognize that combating HIV/AIDS is linked to
resolving other key global challenges, from promoting economic development
and fighting poverty in poorer countries to encouraging gender equality to
supporting environmental sustainability.

Numerous events are being staged around the world today to draw attention
to the pandemic and to some of the ways that individuals can help to reduce
or ameliorate its impact on communities.

In New York, Drawing IT Out, an exhibition of 300 cartoons drawn by
artists, in 50 countries opened at UN Headquarters. The event is sponsored
by UNAIDS, the Brazilian Ministry of Health and the International Planned
Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere Region.

Taoiseach launches campaign to tackle stigma of HIV/AIDS

The Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has launched a new €200,000 campaign to tackle HIV/AIDS-related discrimination.

The initiative is being unveiled to mark World AIDS Day amid increasing concerns that stigma is preventing people from getting tested for the virus in Ireland.

Three hundred and eighty-nine new HIV cases were detected in Ireland last year and another 169 in the first six months of this year.

One hundred and sixty-nine new cases of HIV were detected in the first six months of this year and 318 new cases last year.

Source: BreakingNews.ie

Worlds AIDS Day 1 December: MEPs call for increased funding for Global Health Fund

In adopting a joint resolution with 546 votes in favour 34 against and 24abstentions on HIV/AIDS one day ahead of World AIDS day, MEPs call on the Commission to increase to 1 billion euros its contribution to the global fund against HIV/AIDS, malaria and TB, and on all Member States and G8 members to increase their contribution to 7 billion in 2007 and 8 billion in 2008, in order to provide UNAIDS with the resources necessary to reduce the epidemics.

MEPs express their deepest concern at the expansion of HIV/AIDS and other epidemics amongst the poorest populations in the world and at the lack of focus on prevention of HIV/AIDS, inaccessibility of key medicines, insufficient funding and the lack of research efforts on the major epidemics.

Parliament stresses the importance of accountability of governments, health service providers, the pharmaceutical industry, NGOs and civil society, and others involved in prevention, treatment and care. MEPs call on all international donors to work to ensure that HIV prevention programmes reach the people most at risk of infection as identified in the UNAIDS conclusion that these vulnerable groups are not being provided for The House stresses the need for the EU to fund specific programmes to ensure that those children affected by the AIDS epidemic through the loss of one or both parents or through contracting the disease themselves remain in education and are supported.

Parliament calls on all aid programmes to make sure that once a patient starts a course of treatment, funding is provided for continued uninterrupted treatment, in order to prevent the increased drug resistance that results from interrupted treatments.

Sexual and reproductive health

The House Stresses that the strategies needed to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic effectively must include a comprehensive approach to prevention, education, care and treatment and must include the technologies currently in use, expanded access to treatment and the development of vaccines as a matter of urgency. MEPs call on the European Commission and the governments of our partner countries to ensure that health and education, and HIV/AIDS and sexual and reproductive health in particular, are prioritised in Country Strategy Papers.

MEPs call on the Commission and Member States to support programmes that combat homophobia and break down the barriers that stop effective tackling of the disease, especially in Cambodia, China, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand and Vietnam and across Latin America, where there is increasing evidence of HIV outbreaks among men who have sex with men. The House welcomes the inclusion of research into HIV/AIDS in the 7th Research Framework Programme and calls for research on vaccines and microbicides, diagnostic and monitoring tools suited to developing countries’ needs, epidemic transmission patterns and social and behavioural trends to be supported. The House underlines that women must be involved in all appropriate clinical research, including vaccine trials. Parliament also calls for investment in the development of female-controlled prevention methods such as microbicides, female condoms and post-exposure prophylaxis for survivors of rape.

Access to medicines

The House encourages governments to use all the possibilities available to them under the TRIPs Agreement, such as compulsory licences, and for the WHO and the WTO and its members to review the whole of the TRIPs Agreement with a view to improving access to medicines . MEPs calls on the Commission and the Member States to take the necessary steps in the WTO, in association with the developing countries, to modify the TRIPS Agreement and its article based on the Decision of 30 August 2003, particularly in order to abolish the complex, time‑consuming procedural steps needed for authorisation of compulsory licenses. The House meanwhile, encourages and calls on all countries facing major epidemics to make immediate use of Article 30 of the TRIPS Agreement to access the necessary medicines without paying royalties for patents to the right-owners.

Parliament supports the commitment made by heads of state and government at the 2005 UN World Summit calling for universal access to HIV/AIDS prevention services, treatment and care by 2010. The House believes, however, that a clear plan for funding universal access should be developed and international and interim progress targets set. Finally, MEPs call for support for the developing growth of regional and national generic drug industries in affected areas with a view to facilitating access to affordable drugs.

Ill post up the text of the resolution once its on the Parliaments website

World AIDS Day 2006




Tomorrow is World AIDS Day. Please mark it in your own way. Wear a ribbon talk about it, give money to charity, wear a condom, just do something!!!

The youtube video is a Medicin Sans Frontiers Ad.

Indian Politicians clueless about HIV

Most legislators in India, the country with the most AIDS infections in the world, remain ignorant about the disease, with many believing it can be spread by sharing food, toilets and offices, an official said on Thursday.

The lack of AIDS awareness was revealed in a survey of 250 legislators that was released to Parliament Wednesday, the Hindustan Times newspaper reported in a story confirmed by Manmohan Sharma, who heads the parliamentary committee that wrote the report.

According to the poll, 64 per cent of Indian legislators believe sharing clothes can transmit HIV, the virus that can lead to full-blown AIDS, 56 per cent think that sharing food and utensils spreads the virus, 40 per cent said that contact with a co-worker spreads it, and 22.8 per cent believe that using the same toilet as an infected person can pass the virus to others, the paper reported.

Of perhaps even greater concern is the apparent ignorance among legislators about how to best prevent the spread of AIDS.

According to the Hindustan Times, some 25 per cent of those questioned did not know that sex with multiple partners increases the risk of contracting AIDS, and the same number were unaware that using a condom prevents transmission.

Some 46 per cent did not know that an infected mother can pass the disease on to her fetus, and 51 per cent were ignorant that a person can get the AIDS virus from blood transfusions, the newspaper reported, citing the study, which was not immediately available.

No margin of error was given, but the report’s sample represents nearly a third of the 787 legislators in the lower and upper houses of parliament.

UNAIDS said in May that India’s 5.7 million infections meant the country has the highest number of people in the world living with HIV. But due to its large population – the country is home to more than a billion people – India’s prevalence rate remains less than 1 per cent.

The report comes soon after India said it would earmark $200 million US for the financial year 2006-2007 for its AIDS prevention program.

The plan aims to accelerate a campaign to promote safe sex, popularise the use of condoms, remove the stigma surrounding the disease, expanding the network of treatment facilities and get more people on anti-retroviral drugs.

After receiving the report, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said it contained “very interesting and provocative material on the perceptions and approach of our elected representatives on a vital area of national policy,” the paper quoted him as saying.

Other legislators called for more discussion of the issue in parliament.

On the bright side, the survey found that all those questioned had heard of AIDS, usually from the media.

Scary Article: HIV threat to students on rise, says GPs

Irish Independent 13/08/2006

DOCTORS at Ireland’s third-level colleges have admitted for the first time to treating HIV-positive students in their centres and have called on the Government to rethink its current sexual education policy, which is “failing and ineffective”.

The news comes as a new sexual health survey conducted by Trinity College Dublin (TCD) of over 2,000 students obtained by the Sunday Independent showed that 51 per cent of students admitted to having a one-night stand and 58 per cent of those said they had more than one.

A separate UK study published last week revealed that the majority of sexually active teenagers were “mis-using” condoms, risking sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unwanted pregnancies.

The admission that students within Irish colleges are HIV positive is, according to medical chiefs, merely a reflection of society in general.

According to Health Service Executive (HSE) figures, up until the end of 2005, there were 4,082 known cases of HIV infections in Ireland, but it is unclear how many of those are students.

Of the 318 HIV infections diagnosed last year, 159 of them were acquired through heterosexual contact. Of those 318 HIV positive cases, 28 were diagnosed with full-blown AIDS at the same time.

The TCD study was led by Dr David Thomas, Medical Director at the college’s student health service, who told the Sunday Independent that treatment of HIV-positive students is nothing new but said thankfully the numbers of cases have not risen like those of other STIs.

The study’s main findings were that alcohol played a big role in students’ decisions to have a one-night stand, sexual education is failing drastically and there is still a taboo about carrying condoms, particularly among girls.

The report also found several “at-risk” groups, which are more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviour, often leading to the contraction of an STI. These at-risk students include those who move out of home when going to college, students who binge drink and those students who consume illicit drugs on a regular basis.

The college’s social and human science students were found to be the most likely to have a one-night stand while engineering students having single-night encounters were most likely to use a condom.

A total of 44 per cent of those surveyed said they had used emergency contraception while over one in five have said they have used the morning after pill more than three times, which the report describes as “worrying”.

Just under one in 10 of those surveyed said they had had an STI, with the female group totaling doubling from five to 10 per cent since 2002. Male homosexuals were found to be very diligent in the use of condoms during sex.

TCD carried out a similar study in 2002, which formed the basis of a Department of Health national survey conducted last year. Entitled the CLAN survey, the study found that the majority of students have had between one and three sexual partners, 71 per cent female and 58 per cent male; 14 per cent had four to five partners, while one in four men have had more than six sexual partners, significantly higher than females.

Dr Sandra Tighe, Medical Director at the UCD Student Health Centre which sees around 19,000 patients annually, said mass sexual education simply does not work whereas peer educationis found to work extremelyeffectively.

“These young adults need practical and hands-on guidance. Alcohol is another big factor in people’s sexual behaviour. Our experience on the ground would tally with the report’s findings.”

It has emerged that the HSE is to give out a massive €165,000 worth of condoms free to prostitutes, gay men and drug addicts in a bid to curb STIs.

The tax-payer is footing the bill for the health-awareness campaign, which is to focus on prostitutes working the streets in Dublin and a city-centre gay men’s project along with a number of addiction services.

www.unison.ie/irish_independent/stories.php3?ca=9&si=1669025&issue_id=14484