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Run to raise AIDS awareness

Wednesday, 20th November, 2019 4:40pm

By Aislinn O'Connor

End the stigma with an AIDS day run which will take place this 30 November with the Sexual Health Centre Cork leading the way.

The event focuses on knowing your HIV status with the tagline ‘Everyone has a HIV status. WhEnd the stigma with an AIDS day run which will take place this 30 November with the Sexual Health Centre Cork leading the way.at’s yours?’

There are currently 6,000 people living with HIV in Ireland with an average of 10 new cases diagonised weekly and of these being under the age of 35. The non-discriminatory nature of HIV and the importance of universal HIV testing are crucial in combatting the increasing number of HIV diagnoses. The campaign aims to bring public awareness to the topic and realities of living with HIV, highlight existing support and testing services and promote positive physical and mental health.

There are currently 6,000 people living with HIV in Ireland with an average of 10 new cases diagonised weekly and of these being under the age of 35.

However, according to a recent study, misinformation within the Irish population in regards to HIV still exists. Many people still believe that HIV can be transmitted through coughing and sneezing, as well as kissing. This lack of knowledge reinforces existing stigma and has a strong negative impact on people living with HIV and their families. The World AIDS Day free 5km run aims to highlight the U=U message, address existing misconceptions, normalise the process of HIV testing and reduce associated stigma.

Ciarán Lynch, chairperson of the Sexual Health Centre outlines how the most recent research tells us “that people living with HIV, who take treatment daily as prescribed and achieve and maintain an undetectable viral load have no risk of sexually transmitting the virus to a HIV-negative partner. It is important to know your status to protect your health and wellbeing.”

The World AIDS Day run will take place in collaboration with parkrun at 9.30am on 30 November at two locations in Cork. It will be held in the Regional Park in Ballincollig and Glen River Park. The run is open to everyone and seeks the input of local communities, groups and individuals to attend, show their support by sharing a message via social media or by wearing a red ribbon on the days leading on to the event.

“Each of us has a HIV status. This World AIDS Day we’re encouraging everyone to check or to update their status. It’s never been easier to get tested - all it takes is a small finger prick and one minute later you’ll have your result. There are testing opportunities available across the country,” said Dr Martin Davoren, Executive Director of the Sexual Health Centre based in Cork.

Further information on testing venues and times are available at sexualhealthcentre.com/world-aids-day-park-run-2019, knownow.ie/ and sexualwellbeing.ie.

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