Sinn Féin spokesperson for the arts, youth affairs and LGBTQI rights Senator Fintan Warfield has urged the government to take affirmative action on rising HIV transmission rates in light of the customs seizures of large quantities of PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis), a contraceptive drug taken daily by MSM (men who have sex with men) to prevent HIV infection.

Senator Warfield said:

“Over 500 new diagnoses of HIV were recorded in 2016 while the rate of transmission has been growing steadily for the last five years. PrEP has been proven to combat these rates in other states successfully.

“While the HSE is still assessing the feasibility of making PrEP available, there has been no nationwide meaningful action taken to reduce HIV infection.

“I am calling on the Minister for Health, Simon Harris to adequately fund PrEP once assessment is completed and to take significant steps to stop the spread of HIV as promised in ‘The National Sexual Health Strategy 2015 -2020’.”

Findings from numerous states demonstration projects can be found at http://www.prepwatch.org/scaling-up/country-updates/