HIV may be manageable but tests still make sense
Published 30/10/2015 | 02:30
Much has changed for the better since HIV first appeared with such devastating cost. The enormous strides in medicine have made it a manageable condition, but no one is claiming that living with it is easy.
The courage and strength of sufferers has been inspirational, but complacency about risks, or a reticence to face up to the threat, took a truly terrible toll in the past.
So the announcement that pub-goers in Dublin can avail of a 30-second HIV test is extremely welcome.
Alarmingly, the incidence of HIV is increasing to a troubling extent once more.
It is this rise that has informed the thinking behind the one-year pilot project.
The Gay and Lesbian Equality Network's Tiernan Brady has urged people to avail of the test.
"It is a manageable condition now and the earlier it is detected, the better the health outcome for that person."
HIV rates here have actually trebled from 2005. Some 314 people were diagnosed with it in 2013.
It would be a tragedy beyond telling if a younger generation of gay men, oblivious to the hugely effective Aids campaigns of the 1980s, had to learn of the dangers all over again.
A complicating factor is that most cases are passed on by someone who doesn't even know that they are infected.
Clearly, the more people who take the test, the better for all concerned.