National campaign launched in Ireland to address HIV-related stigma

Source: Xinhua| 2020-01-28 04:51:23|Editor: yan
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DUBLIN, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- A national campaign was launched in Ireland on Monday to address the HIV (human immunodeficiency virus)-related stigma in the country.

Organized by Health Service Executive (HSE), a state agency responsible for public health in Ireland, the campaign is aimed at removing the negative attitudes towards people living with HIV, said Maeve O'Brien, an official with the HSE.

During the campaign, posters with the tagline "Effective treatment means you can't pass HIV onto partners" will appear in public transport, social venues, and college locations as well as on digital platforms across the country, said the HSE in a press release, adding that the campaign also references the global U=U campaign, which stands for undetectable equals untransmittable, meaning reducing the level of virus in the body to an undetectable level so that HIV cannot be transmitted to sexual partners.

Developed by the HSE in consultation with local community groups and sexual health non-governmental organizations, the campaign is funded by the Irish Department of Health as part of the HIV Fast Track Cities Initiative.

"There is still a lack of understanding around HIV and what it means to live with HIV today and it's important to address this. This public awareness campaign will improve people's understanding of HIV and highlight the importance of early testing and treatment for HIV," said O'Brien at the launch ceremony of the campaign.

According to the HSE, a record number of 531 people were diagnosed with HIV in Ireland in 2018 with historical data showing a rising tendency in the number of new HIV cases found each year in the country since 2011.