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Dublin: 9 °C Monday 23 April, 2018
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HIV is on the rise in Dublin

There has been a spike in the number of cases among drug users.

Image: Shutterstock/Diego Cervo

URGENT ACTION is needed to tackle a spike in the number of HIV cases in Dublin, the director of an inner city drug service has said.

The HSE has confirmed that there have been 13 new cases of the virus in the capital since 2014, prompting an investigation.

Control measures have been put in place by all clinics and health services, a statement from the HSE read, including advising them to take steps to increase awareness about safe injecting practices and safe sex.

“The HSE is conducting an epidemiological study which includes newly infected persons to examine possible risk factors and enable us to make recommendations for control,” it added.

The HSE is also supporting those not on methadone to engage with services, enhancing treatment for those diagnosed with HIV and promoting access to safe needles/syringes and condoms across the services and networks.

Tony Duffin, director of the Ana Liffey Drug Project, said urgent action and the proper resources are needed to ensure the issue is sfftrddrf “decisively and effectively”.

“This means being proactive in supporting people who inject drugs to access testing and treatment, in addition to ensuring that needle and syringe programme coverage nationally is sufficient both in terms of accessibility and equipment available,” he said.

We also need to be able to reach isolated drug users to provide them with appropriate treatment options.

The Irish Examiner reported this morning that the outbreak may be linked to injection mephedrone, a former head shop drug with the street name meow meow, and benzodiazepines.

The recent appointed Junior Minister for Drugs, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin said earlier this month that he is in favour of introducing injection centres in Ireland and expressed his desire to bring forward legislation in this area.

Duffin said his organisation will continue to “lobby for the provision of supervised injecting facilities, and accessible residential treatment for polydrug users”.

Reporting by Daragh Brophy.

Read: Injection centres could soon arrive in Dublin – would you agree with that? >

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