The number of new clients to our support service has increased steadily.
The number of people diagnosed with HIV in Ireland rose by 8 per cent in 2018 with 531 diagnoses in 2018, up from 492 the previous year.
The latest statistics on the diagnosis of HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) show the number of people in Ireland diagnosed with HIV has continued to rise in recent years, despite an overall decline in rates of new cases across the European Union – this is of great concern to Sexual Health West.
Clients may present themselves with multiple issues around testing, stigma, confidentiality, financial difficulties, stress and direct provision.
While the majority of our clients are from the Galway region, the growth in other areas is increasing year on year. The Infectious Disease Clinic at University College Hospital, Galway supports the region from Donegal to Clare and this is the main referral point for clients to AIDS West. Hence the client base we cover has by necessity extended beyond Galway, Mayo and Roscommon.
Our support service co-ordinator is available to meet with anyone in relation to all aspects of HIV/STIs and Hepatitis. We offer free one-to-one client support to include pre-and post-test counselling - appointments can be arranged by calling 091 566266 / e:firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support services are also available on Thursday morning at the University College Hospital Galway.
We also operate a drop clinic at the Family Centre Castlebar on the first Tuesday of every month.
Rapid HIV & Syphilis Testing
We offer free HIV testing & Syphilis Testing across the region at various locations. We offer a regular HIV testing & Syphilis Testing session on the last Tuesday of each month at Teach Solais LGBT+ Resource Centre in Galway. The HIV testing & Syphilis Test gives a result in one minute. The test involves a simple finger prick.
Testing sessions are advertised here: and also at www.knownow.ie
We offer telephone and email support to those who are unable to meet with our care and support co-ordinator.
Our co-ordinator liaises with other service providers on behalf of our clients. Referrals are also made where necessary.
Complementary Therapies and Peer Support
We have our own therapy room in Ozanam House with a qualified therapist for service users who wish to avail of complementary therapies. These include: Indian head massage, full body massage, Reiki and Acupuncture.
Service users can also have added support by meeting up with the peer group or avail of the befriending/buddy support that is now established. Regular seminars are held with professional speakers on such topics as treatments, nutrition, personal development or legal issues around HIV.
Our co-ordinator has an outreach clinic in Castlebar on the first Tuesday of every month in the Family Care Centre, Chapel St, Castlebar, Co.Mayo.