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The number of newly diagnosed HIV infections reported for the heterosexual category in the Republic of Ireland has increased each year since 1994 according to figures released last week by the National Disease Surveillance Centre, Dublin (1). Between 1999 and 2000, the number of HIV infections in this category more than doubled, from 59 in 1999 to 127 in 2000. Between 2000 and 2001, there was a 36% increase in reported infections in this category, from 127 to 173. Worryingly, over the same period, the numbers of reports of other sexually transmitted infections also increased, although the increases seen between 1999 and 2000 were not as dramatic as those for HIV infections reported for the same period (2). During 2000, 8869 cases of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) were notified, compared with 6993 in 1999, a 26.8% increase. The total number of newly diagnosed HIV infections for 2001 was 299 compared with 290 for 2000, a rate of 82.5 per million for 2001 and 80.0 per million for 2000. This brings the total number of HIV cases newly and previously diagnosed reported in Ireland to December 2001 to 2645.


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