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Cost of contraception causing some to risk unprotected sex

Ahead of World AIDS Day this Saturday, the Dublin AIDS Alliance is urging people to take greater care of their sexual health.

Image: Nixx Photography via Shutterstock

THE NUMBER OF reported sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in Ireland rose over 12 per cent in 2011 compared to 2010.

At 13,259 reported cases, the latest report from the HSE Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) shows that the number has been increasing year-on-year since 1995.

Since 2006, more than two thirds of those reporting STIs have been under the age of 30.

A previous HSE Contraception and Crisis Pregnancy Study from 2010 showed that 38 per cent of respondents between the ages of 18 and 25 still had difficulty in accessing contraception locally.

Of those that had engaged in unprotected sex in the previous 12 months, 10 per cent of young men and seven per cent of young women had listed cost as the reason.

With World AIDS Day being marked this Saturday, 1 December, the Dublin AIDS Alliance is urging Irish people to take greater care of their sexual health, while also asking them to help HIV charities in their work.

Running until this Saturday, for each tweet that contains a HIV-related comment or fact and is sent using the #1share1condom hash tag, Durex will automatically donate one condom to a HIV charity.

Susan Donlon from the Dublin Aids Alliance said:

We are delighted to work in partnership with Durex as the Irish Charity Partner for this creative and innovative initiative.  This support from Durex complements our current STI prevention campaign, Just Carry One, which aims to improve access to condoms and promote the consistent use of condoms among young people.

Those on Facebook can also take part in the initiative, with each share of the World AIDS Day image or video from the Durex Ireland Facebook page also resulting in a condom being donated.

Recommending a “targeted and coordinated” approach to improving the access of those who need contraception, the executive director of Dublin Aids Alliance, Anna Quigley, says that it is important that the National Sexual Health Strategy helps to ensure “improved access to, and distribution of, free condoms for all population groups at risk of HIV and other STIs.”

Read: Ireland records lowest level of new HIV cases in 10 years >

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Paul Hyland

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