Cork's Sexual Health Centre to host national 5K run for World AIDS Day

The World AIDS Day 5K run aims to address misconceptions, normalise testing and change the narrative around HIV.

Photo of people wearing Red World AIDS Day tshirts for the 5K
Image: Instagram shc_cork

Cork’s Sexual Health Centre is hosting its annual free World AIDS Day 5K run at 9:30am on Saturday, December 2! The event is supported by, Healthy Ireland and the HSE to help break down HIV stigmas and raise awareness about testing.

The first HIV cases were reported in Ireland in 1982. While Ireland has made great strides in terms of HIV research and treatment in the past 40 years, misinformation, discrimination and misconceptions still exist.

For example, some people falsely believe that HIV can be transmitted through kissing, sharing drinks or sharing utensils. These misunderstandings reinforce a negative stigma against people living with HIV.

However, Ciarán Lynch, Chairperson of the Sexual Health Centre says the U=U (Undetectable = Untransmittable) message has been changing the narrative, sharing, “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.”


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A post shared by Sexual Health Centre (@shc_cork)

The World AIDS Day free 5K was established in Cork in 2018. The event runs in partnership with parkrun and aims to highlight this U=U message, address misconceptions and normalise the process of HIV testing.

Dr Martin Davoren, Executive Director of the Sexual Health Centre in Cork said, “Each of us plays a part in reducing stigma. We’re encouraging people to get involved so that, together, we can tackle HIV stigma in Ireland.”

Everyone is invited to participate in a 5K walk or run at one of four parkrun locations in Cork, namely Ballincollig Regional Park, Glen River Park, Tramore Valley Park and Marina Market with Frontrunners, or in Kerry’s Tralee Town Park, or their local park.

Those who are not planning to run are also invited to be an ambassador against HIV stigma and join the virtual campaign by posting photos using the hashtags #WADrunIreland, #WorldAIDSday and #UequalsU and tagging the Sexual Health Centre.



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A post shared by Sexual Health Centre (@shc_cork)

Online registration is open now and is completely free. Anyone without internet access can call the Sexual Health Centre at 021-4276676 to register by phone. The Sexual Health Centre will provide everyone who signs up with a World AIDS Day dri-fit top to wear for the run.

The Sexual Health Centre runs a free rapid HIV testing service with results within one minute. Tests can be booked at

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