HIV Ireland release crucial list of accessible sexual health services during COVID-19 pandemic

In response to restrictions on sexual health centres across the country, HIV Ireland have published a list of services still available.

HIV Ireland COVID-19
Image: Brian Teeling

HIV Ireland has created a vital database of public sexual health services in Ireland due to restrictions placed upon HIV and STI testing clinics amidst COVID-19 concerns. 

Following concerns around COVID-19, all HIV and STI testing clinics have closed with the exception of certain restricted services. HIV Ireland has compiled a list of centres in Ireland which are still available. On Twitter, they wrote, “Due to the evolving #coronavirus (#COVID19) situation, there are significant restrictions to public #STI services over the coming weeks, including some closures of services. We will provide further updates as information becomes available.”

Several HIV and STI testing clinics have been closed across Ireland, including Letterkenny General Hospital, GUM/STI Clinic, Summerhill Primary Care Centre, Grangegorman Primary Care Centre, Gay Men’s Health Service, Portiuncula Hospital, and Midland Regional Hospital Mullingar. Certain sexual health services in places such as Waterford, Limerick, and Portlaoise have implemented restrictions in response to COVID-19 concerns, such as drop-ins being replaced with visitations by appointment only. 

HIV Ireland further state in their list of sexual health services affected by COVID-19, “Many PrEP clinics have closed or are restricted. Services will get in touch with those who have appointments to let you know if you should attend or not, and to consider options for prescriptions. These options may be limited as more staff get redeployed for the COVID-19 response.”

Support services such as AIDS West, Youth Health Services, the Rainbow Project and GOSHH are still available to provide advice and guidance by phone. Though the physical spaces are closing to help flatten the curve of this pandemic, these vital life-lines have undergone changes to ensure their accessibility for the community. 

Community based programme, MPower rapid HIV testing services at PantiBar, The George, The Boilerhouse, and Outhouse Dublin have been cancelled until further notice. Director, Adam Shanely, wrote on Twitter, “The #MPOWER outreach team is still available by phone, email, WhatsApp and on hook-up apps to offer you information and support on your sexual health and wellbeing.”

HIV Ireland plans to provide further information on sexual health services as it becomes available.

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