Meet our new Steering Committee member from Ireland - Martin Davoren
In 2021 three new members joined AIDS Action Europe's Steeting Committee. We are happy to welcome Martin Davoren from our member organisation "Sexual Health Centre" in Cork, Ireland and use this opportunity to ask a few questions.
1. You have been working in the field of HIV for quite some time. Please tell us about your background and how you started to advocate for the interest of people living with HIV and other key populations Would you like to share a part of the work you or your organisation have been doing that you consider particularly successful, important or in other terms a highlight.
I was a researcher and lecturer in the School of Public Health, University College Cork, Ireland before joining the Sexual Health Centre as Executive Director in 2017. The Sexual Health Centre opened its doors as Cork AIDS Alliance in 1987 and is grounded in providing information, support and testing opportunities to the community. Today, we operate a mentoring, support and counselling service as well as providing Rapid HIV testing opportunities across a wide range of community settings to marginalised groups. We tackle misconceptions and myths and throughout the past number of years have ran Irelands largest single event for World AIDS Day, the World AIDS Day Run.
2. What was your motivation to become a SC member of AAE? What do you expect from the work as SC member of AAE and which benefits do you expect for your work in your organisation?
I’m delighted to be appointed to the SC of AIDS Action Europe. It will be fantastic for my agency in Ireland as well as the networks I am a member of across Ireland to learn from others across Europe so that we can improve services and ensure equity of delivery.
3. What is your role in your organisation and what does your work look like?
I’m Executive Director of the Sexual Health Centre. My work focuses on supporting the organisation and team so that we can effectively respond to the community that we serve.
4. Can you please give us a brief introduction on HIV/AIDS situation in your country. What are the main challenges and main successes? Where do you see AAE can provide support in addressing these issues?
Rapid HIV Testing opportunities are facilitated in non-governmental organisations across the country. Treatment and care are delivered by our national health service free of charge. Increasing numbers of HIV diagnosis have been reported over the past number of years highlighting the importance of accessible testing opportunities so that people can be linked to care. It will be interesting to hear of the work of other agencies across the AAE network, giving us an opportunity to learn from others and improve our services.