The Dublin AIDS Alliance has called for condoms to be made freely available to vulnerable groups and people who can not afford them.

It also says testing and screening for HIV should be provided in the community.

Mary O'Shea, the organisation's Chief Executive, said the issues of HIV and AIDS had become more and more invisible and the Government needed to invest in further prevention measures.

Last year, 395 new cases of HIV were diagnosed, most of these among heterosexuals.

Since the first case of HIV was diagnosed here over 25 years ago, over 5,600 people have been diagnosed with the virus and 414 people have died from AIDS.

The Dublin AIDS Alliance says many advances have been made especially with antiretroviral treatment for HIV but the stigma associated with the virus remains.

The organisation is holding a conference in Dublin today to debate the issues.