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The median age for new HIV cases in Ireland? 33

New statistics show that the number of people with HIV in Ireland rose last year for the first time in four years.

Image: Hand holding blood samples via Shutterstock

THE NUMBER OF people diagnosed with HIV in Ireland rose last year for the first time in four years.

New diagnoses rose by 7 per cent to a total of 341 cases, bringing the overall number of people diagnosed with HIV in Ireland over the past 30 years to 6,629.

The annual report by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre into HIV found that the median (i.e. midpoint) age of new diagnoses was 33. Men made up the vast majority of new cases (71.6 per cent) while women made up 28.4 per cent.

Almost half of the new cases were among men who have sex with men, with heterosexual sex making up 38 per cent of new diagnoses and injecting drug users accounted for 4 per cent.

There were five cases where mothers transmitted the virus to their children. The HPSC said it believed that the infection took place in sub-Saharan Africa and no cases were identified in children born in Ireland.

Almost half of the new HIV diagnoses last year were born abroad, the HPSC said.

The HPSC said that although more than 6,600 people have been diagnosed with the virus since the early 1980s, the exact number of people living with HIV in Ireland is not known as some may have died or emigrated.

Read: Supervised ‘injecting centres’ could help drug addicts – report >

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