HIV diagnoses reach new high in Ireland

Provisional figures from Ireland’s Health Protection Surveillance Centre show more new HIV diagnoses were reported in 2016 than in any previous year. The final total showed about a 6% increase over 2015 figures, which had previously been the highest on record.

Final adjusted figures won’t be known for some months, nor will the specifics regarding mode of transmission, age at diagnosis, or previous diagnosis. In past years the annual HIV report was released in May or June, however last year the 2015 report was not released until October. Some preliminary statistics, including demographic information, were released as a slide set at the end of May last year.

While this increase is less dramatic than the 30% increase from 2014 to 2015, it’s important to note that the 2015 increase resulted in part from a change in the way that HIV diagnoses were reported. This change meant that a greater number of people who had been previously diagnosed abroad were included in the figures. We discussed this in detail in our previous post, here.

Part of the increase in 2015 was also due to an outbreak of HIV in Dublin among people who inject drugs. That outbreak was contained by February of 2016, so other modes of transmission are likely to account for the continuing increase in new diagnoses.