Last year, between January and March 2020, over 3,300 HIV or STI diagnoses were recorded by the HSE. In the same time period in 2021, the figure is 2,116 (down over 33%).
Interestingly, of the cases recorded in 2021, eight people under 14 have tested positive in 2021, and 181 aged between 15 and 19.
This reduced level of recorded cases and STI diagnoses will be naturally related to low levels of socialising during the lockdown, which was not a factor in the early months of 2020. This, coupled with the limits on travel domestically and further afield, has affected the rates of HIV and STI infections in the country. This is according to Martin Davoren, executive director of the Sexual health Centre in Cork who was speaking on Newstalk on March 25th 2021.
Niki Martire, director of SpunOut.ie also pointed to the reduced public health services available as a result of the pandemic, noting that some services are no longer available, or are at limited capacity or have had to re-prioritise their attentions in other areas.
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