Cork, Co. CorkNovember 21, 2018

On December 1st 2018 the Sexual Health Centre Cork is leading a World AIDS Day Campaign in conjunction with parkrun, sexualwellbeing.ie, Healthy Ireland and the Health Service Executive to promote HIV testing services in Ireland. The event focuses on knowing your HIV status with the tagline “Everyone has a HIV status. What’s yours?”. The non-discriminatory nature of HIV and the importance of universal HIV testing are crucial in combatting the increasing number of HIV diagnoses. The campaign aims to bring public awareness to the topic and realities of living with HIV, highlight existing support and testing services and promote positive physical and mental health.

There are over 6,000 people living with HIV in Ireland. Every week, 10 cases of HIV are diagnosed, with almost half of these being under the age of 35. However, according to a recent study, misinformation within the Irish population in regards to HIV still exists. Many people still believe that HIV can be transmitted through coughing and sneezing, as well as kissing. This lack of knowledge reinforces existing stigma and has a strong negative impact on people living with HIV and their families. The World AIDS Day run aims to address existing misconceptions and stigma and normalise the process of HIV testing.

“Each of us has a HIV status. This World AIDS Day we’re encouraging everyone to check or to update their status. It’s never been easier to get tested – all it takes is a small finger prick and one minute later you’ll have your result. There are testing opportunities available across the country,” said Dr. Martin Davoren, Executive Director of the Sexual Health Centre based in Cork.

The World AIDS Day run will take place in collaboration with Ballincollig parkrun at 9.30 a.m. on December 1st in the Regional Park in Ballincollig, Cork. The run is open to everyone and seeks the input of local communities, groups and individuals to attend, show their support by sharing a message via social media or by wearing a red ribbon on the days leading on to the event.

Dr. Davoren outlines how the most recent research tells us “that people living with HIV, who take treatment daily as prescribed and achieve and maintain an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of sexually transmitting the virus to a HIV-negative partner. It is important to know your status to protect your health and wellbeing.”

Further information on testing venues and times are available via the following links:

Sexual Health Centre: http://www.sexualhealthcentre.com/world-aids-day-park-run-2018

Know Now: http://www.knownow.ie/

www.sexualwellbeing.ie

About The Sexual Health Centre

The Sexual Health Centre is a Not for Profit, Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) that was established in July 1987 as Cork AIDS Alliance. In addition to providing up-to-date and non-biased  information and education regarding sexual health and wellbeing, the Centre offers professional one-on-one counselling sessions and support groups for people living with HIV, rapid HIV testing, crisis pregnancy support and free pregnancy tests, sexual health promotion stands, educational workshops, and events in the third-level educational institutions, free condom distribution, 9-5 Monday to Friday Helpline, outreach work and sexual health workshops for a variety of vulnerable groups, and an out-of-hours STI clinic.

Website:www.sexualhealthcentre.com

Media Contact

Nadia Reckmann nadia.reckmann@sexualhealthcentre.com

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