Eight children diagnosed with HIV

EIGHT children were diagnosed with HIV last year, figures from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HSPC) show.

The parents of another 25 newborns are awaiting tests to find out if their babies are infected.

The figures show 117 babies were born to mothers with the virus, just one of whom passed it on to an infant.

Of the eight newly diagnosed children, six previously contracted the virus from its mother, one received a blood transfusion in Africa, and in one case the cause was unknown.

The HPSC study revealed 4,781 people in Ireland were infected with HIV by the end of 2007 — with 362 of those newly diagnosed during the year.

Experts said the 7.4% rise suggests people are either taking more risks or those at risk are seeking testing, counselling and treatment.

Meanwhile, researchers said 957 Aids cases were reported between 1983 and 2007, of which 405 people had died.

Concerns were raised that 28 patients were diagnosed with Aids at the same time as HIV.

“These patients would not have had the opportunity to benefit from treatment prior to Aids diagnosis,” said a HPSC researcher.

“This highlights the importance of HIV testing services... as diagnosis at an early stage in the course of HIV infection facilitates early intervention and treatment.”

Of the newly diagnosed HIV cases, some 146 patients were heterosexual, 75 were homosexual men and 54 were drug users.


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