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AIDs

Worrying new figures from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre have revealed rising rates of young people being diagnosed as HIV positive in Ireland.

An expert described how sixteen people were diagnosed last week with the illness, and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases is at an "alarming" rate.

The age group of 20-year-olds until the age of 29 are the age group at high risk of getting an infection.

Concern’s team leader for health and HIV Breda Gahan said:

“I’m thinking of those 16 people who got that big blow of news last week and how it will affect them in terms of travelling, future job prospects, stigma and treatment.

“I would say unfortunately the stigma has increased both in Ireland and globally. On top of that, who are you going to tell? Are you going to tell your partner or your ex partners or family? No one wants to carry the burden alone," Breda continued.

“I don’t want to frighten people or say if you have sex you’re going to get HIV that’s not the case. But people don’t realise a lot of the cases of HIV are home grown.”

Even though there is access to free treatment for AIDS in Ireland, Gahan feels that the Government need to do more to raise awareness about the disease.

“HIV prevention is failing, it just hasn’t been invested in despite the increasing number of infections. The Government should get those who have the skills to travel to primary schools to work with those who are age appropriate."

Gahan added;

“Education is the social vaccine. Girls and boys need to understand how to protect themselves from life-threatening infections. There is a serious lack of accurate information, there’s a lot of myths and misconceptions.

“We also need to make services more adolescent and user friendly. No one wants to go to an STI clinic.”

Recent figures from the HPSC report show that 239 cases of HIV have been reported so far this year.  4,193 people have contracted chlamydia, 1,341 have gonorrhoea, and 793 have herpes.

In comparison to last year, Ireland has seen an increase of almost 1,200 infections.

Breda Gahan explained the reason for the apparent lack of concern among youth:

“There’s an increase in STIs among young people because of complacency and people aren’t dying so there’s less fear. Young people don’t really care if they get an STI because it’s treatable.”

The expert says that we need to start educating children in primary school aged 10 to 12; 

“As a nurse, I would go as far to say that it’s too late to educate kids at secondary school level. Hormones are hopping at that age.

“It’s alarming and concerning to see the increase of numbers. No sex can be totally safe – there’s always some risk, for example a condom breaking. But there needs to be education about safer sex.”

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A man has been charged with murder after infecting his partner with HIV, which developed into AIDS.

Ronald Murdock, 51, from Ohio, has had his bail set to $1.5million after the death of his long-term girlfriend Kimberly Klempner.

It is alleged that the couple had unprotected sex when he knew he was HIV positive, but he did not tell her.

According to Ohio law, those diagnosed with HIV are required to disclose the fact to their sexual partners

He stood accused of not disclosing his HIV-positive status to Kimberly, ultimately leading to her death.

'By the time she found out and by the time everything was said and done, it was way too late,' Kimberly's son told Cosmo. 

'She would have done anything for that man. And for him not to come out in the beginning and tell her what was going on was not right.'

Ronald Murdock faces a life sentence of imprisonment if found guilty of the crimes. 

According to the HSE, if you have HIV, it is important that your current sexual partner or any sexual partners you have had since being exposed to infection are tested and treated.

'If you do not tell your sexual partners and you have unsafe sex and infect someone, they could prosecute you.'

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While we all know the occasional Grinch, by and large Christmas tends to bring out the best in people.

This observation is as applicable to celebrities as it is lay people, as The Killers have just released a new holiday album to help raise funds for Bono’s charity (RED), an organisation which aims to eradicate AIDS in Africa.

According to Rolling Stone, Don’t Waste Your Wishes features songs which the band previously released in support of (RED) as well as a newly recorded cover of Bing Crosby’s I’ll be Home for Christmas.

The album – which is exclusively available on iTunes and Apple Music – features Elton John, Jimmy Kimmel and a former teacher of band frontman Brandon Flowers who taught the musician the meaning of Crosby’s famed Christmas track.

A limited edition Don’t Waste Your Wishes CD will also be sold online from December 9.

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He's kept his health issues private for years, but tomorrow Charlie Sheen will reportedly reveal to the world that he is HIV positive.

Rumours kicked off last week when a "blind gossip" style piece was published by Radar Online, suggesting that a well-known Hollywood actor with a string of famous exes had HIV.

After a tabloid report this morning claimed Charlie was indeed the "mystery star," the actor is now apparently set to confirm the news himself on live television.

Popular US morning show TODAY announced via Twitter this evening that the former Two And a Half Men star would be taking part in a "live revealing interview" with their host Matt Lauer tomorrow morning, November 17.

According to E! News, two separate sources have confirmed that the HIV reports are indeed true.

The 50-year-old star, who has been married three times, has allegedly been keeping his diagnosis a secret for years, and has spent in excess of €7million to stop it going public.

According to TMZ, the actor confided in a normal of people he thought he could trust over the years, but news of his diagnosis was soon leaked.

After hearing the rumours, "several of Charlie's former partners" are said to have contacted him, resulting in pay-outs worth millions to keep them quiet. One settlement is said to have occurred as recently as last month.

In a further effort to keep his diagnosis under wraps, the actor reportedly requests that guests to his home sign non-disclosure agreements before entering.

Charlie is father to five children by three different women – Cassandra, 30, with ex-girlfriend Paula Profit, Sam, 11, and Lola, 10, with ex-wife Denise Richards, and twins Bob and Max, 6, with ex-wife Brooke Mueller.

The last few years have been somewhat of a rollercoaster for Charlie, who was fired from Two And A Half Men after going on a weeks-long drug and alcohol bender that producers at Warner Bros referred to as "dangerously self-destructive conduct."

The actor then went on to have a very public breakdown, giving a semi-incoherent interview to ABC’s 20/20, coining his now-infamous phrase "winning."

Since the news went public this evening, the normally outspoken star has remained quiet on social media.

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Fashion designer, mother-of-four and former Spice Girl, Victoria Beckham has been revealed as the new ambassador for UNAIDs.

The 39-year-old said she was inspired by a trip to South Africa earlier this year, which has the highest population of AIDs sufferers in the world.

Victoria also travelled to Cape Town in February, to raise awareness about mother to child HIV transmission for the Born Free Initative .

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