THERE have been calls on the Government to implement a new sexual health strategy and awareness campaign following the announcement last week by a Southside hospital that it has recorded the highest ever level of HIV infections.
St James’s Hospital announced that so far in 2009 it has seen the highest number of new cases of HIV in one year since records began, with a 20 per cent increase in positive diagnoses.
The hospital, which monitors new cases of HIV infections in Ireland, said it expects to have diagnosed over 240 new HIV cases this year, compared with 209 last year.
There has been a 100 per cent increase in HIV diagnoses among homosexual and bisexual men.
Consultant in genitourinary medicine at St James’s Hospital, Dr Fiona Lyons, said there was an urgent need to target this group for prevention, early diagnosis and treatment.