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HIV cases are on the rise in Cork as complacency creeps in

HIV is a serious problem with almost one person a week in Cork being diagnosed with the virus.

According to the head of Cork’s Sexual Health Centre, Deirdre Seery, Cork people represent approximately 10% of the national statistics, which equates to at least 51 people in Cork contracting HIV every year.

“Ten people a week are being newly diagnosed with HIV nationally. The figure is rising,” she said.

“There is the issue of complacency, people are not being careful enough. Also, the sense of risk that should be there for contracting the disease is dissipating.

Ms Seery also said that the message about HIV is no longer out there. “It is not part of the consciousness anymore, people are not as aware of the issue as they need to be.” Another reason for the rise, according to Deirdre, is that people always believe it won’t happen to them. “People always think it is someone else’s problem.”

The CEO of the Sexual Health Centre, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, said people need to be vigilant. “It is important for people to get checked regularly depending on their sexual behaviour. If you are sexually active you should be getting checked every three to six months,” she said.