According to figures released from the Health Protection Surveillance Center, Ireland's specialist agency for the surveillance of communicable diseases, the total number of new HIV cases among men in Ireland rose to 138 in 2009.

In total the number of men reported to have HIV has risen by a whooping 42% last year.

Over half of the men (63 per cent) are Irish born and are believed to have picked up the virus in Ireland.

The median age for infection was 35.6 years, and men under the age of 30 accounted for 35 per cent of diagnoses.

The total number of new infections was 395, a newborn baby and four children were among these.

They are believed to have acquired the infection from their mothers.

65 of the cases did not provide enough information.

30 people got HIV from intravenous drug use and 165 were found in heterosexuals.

The study concluded that "urgent" measures should be targeted at younger men and those recently diagnosed.

Overall, the latest figures showed a slight decline in the total number of new infections.

Of the 307 new HIV cases where geographic origin of the patient is known, 141 were born in Ireland, 96 were born in sub-Saharan Africa, 21 were born in western Europe, 13 were born in central Europe, 15 were born in eastern Europe and 14 were born in South America.

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