In 2011 alone, 320 people were newly diagnosed with H.I.V in Ireland.
Ireland is the only country to designate a national day specifically for the raising of funds and awareness of both H.I.V. and A.I.D.S.
As the reigning Alternative Miss Ireland, I was delighted to be asked to launch this momentous occasion.
This year, the money raised will be presented to The Guide Clinic in St James’ Hospital. The Guide Clinic is the largest free S.T.I., H.I.V. and Infectious Disease service in Ireland.
Dr Dominic Rowley from the clinic states that their current focus is on encouraging individuals to get tested; “We are really encouraging people to know their own risks and to get tested!”
Volunteers will be spanning the city centre today, selling red ribbons to promote the cause. Please, give generously!
The inspirational Tonie Walsh provides a number of rationale to support the fundraising initiative;
“We are lucky and fortunate enough to live in a country like Ireland where being H.I.V. positive can be managed as a long-term condition not unlike diabetes and other chronic health problems. Yet there remains considerable taboo and prejudice around this subject matter, as indeed there is around much to do with sex and sexual health in general.”
If you understand how H.I.V. is transmitted, how it can be prevented, and the reality of living with H.I.V. today – You can use this knowledge to take care of your own health and the health of others, and ensure you treat everyone living with H.I.V. with respect and understanding.