By Andrew Goyvaerts
The clock is ticking down to another year nearly over and with it as little answers on an introduction of PrEP in Northern Ireland and many areas across Europe including Ireland, as there have been about Trump and the Russians.
Having long surpassed the point of consideration we should now be at the point of answers and action, however the sound of silence reverberates through the corridors of the HSC and DoH.
While budgets, boilers and a broken Stormont create havoc among public sectors with deadline after deadline to restore a functional executive having come and gone (Oxford plan to change the definition of deadline soon), matters on the ground are suffering beyond measure. There must come a point when coordination along with cooperation of some sort happens in order to pass a budget which will enable action on matters that have become totally stagnant during this entire debacle.
Northern Ireland recorded a dramatic increase in HIV diagnoses over the last number of years and it is highly likely this year will see a further increase, it will only be with thanks to current treatment and the success of viral suppression meaning those diagnosed who’s viral loads are undetectable cannot pass on the virus, as well as the current protection available in the form of PEP along with condoms, if there is not a further rise in.
The inaction of our institutions over the course of 2017 to function as they should is a mounting disgrace as each day passes.
Stormont has been hanging over a cliff and as usual it’s the ordinary citizens who are paying the price with job losses, rising homelessness as well as public services being seen as nothing more than collateral damage in a game of chicken. During this time social considerations have increased with a rise in people living and dying on the street along with a steep rise in people using drugs in particular intravenous drugs.
The time for talking on the hill is done, it’s time for action from someone wether that is Mr. Brokenshire or the two lady’s of the estate. In the words of a brand that shall not be named for fear of copyright “just do it”