Sexual health advocate responds to HSE's reported "surge" in STIs because "people are partying"

Noel Sutton from Gay Health Network responds to comments from a sexual health expert stating that a dramatic increase in STIs is due to "increased prosperity and medical progress which has led to young people taking greater risks".

Queer activist responds to HSE's reported

The Times recently reported on the HSE’s recent figures showing a “surge” in sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

The new figures released by the HSE suggest that the “surge” is “fuelled by continued economic growth and a steady fall in the fear factor of HIV.”

In the article, Dr Derek Friedmen, a specialist in treating sexually transmitted infections claims this is due to an “increase in prosperity and medical progress” which has led “to young people taking greater risks.”

Dr Freedman said: “This is very much part of an ongoing trend, basically it is a reflection of the economy. People are partying. It is also a reflection of the fact we have very good treatment now for HIV infection and people are less afraid of it.”

Let me remind you of the real facts, Dr Derrick Freedman.

The lack of investment by consecutive Government’s and the Department of Health in Sexual Health and Wellbeing is the single biggest cause of the rise in HIV/STI’s in Ireland.

Waiting lists of between four to eight weeks to get an appointment in a clinic has added to the rising numbers of HIV/STIs.

Waiting periods of one to three weeks between tests and treatment have added to the rising numbers of HIV/STIs.

A culture of pointing the finger of blame at people trying to access services has added to the rising numbers of HIV/STIs in Ireland.

In light of the Gay Health Forum last Friday I remind him of one of our key asks:

Prompt access to services for diagnosis and treatment of HIV and STIs is crucial in stemming rising rates, most of which disproportionately affect gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men.

We call on the government to properly fund and resource sexual health services throughout the country to ensure all those in need of sexual health services have prompt and appropriate access to care.

© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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