The number of men who have sex with men being diagnosed with HIV in the last year in Ireland rose by 42 per cent, a report has said.

According to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre, 97 diagnoses were made in 2008, rising to 138 in 2009.

Most of the men (63 per cent) were born in Ireland and are thought to have picked up the infection in the country.

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

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.

The total number of new infections was 395, with a newborn baby and four children among these. They are thought to have acquired the infection from their mothers.

There was not enough information on 65 cases, while 30 were in intravenous drug users and 165 were found in heterosexuals.

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.