New H-TEAM campaign: laatjesneltesten.nl (get yourself tested quickly)
HIV shouldn’t be a taboo anymore
Having HIV is still taboo. This when nowadays, you can live a good and healthy life with HIV, provided you receive treatment. In fact, if successfully treated, the HIV virus is no longer transmissible! With this message the H-TEAM, together with the Man tot Man platform, distributes two videos and three greeting cards that aim to remove the stigma surrounding HIV. With this, we hope that men who have sex with men will get themselves tested quickly and start their treatment early.
The number of new HIV infections in the Netherlands decreases gradually. Still, some 900 new HIV infections are diagnosed each year. Of this number, 45% of people diagnosed with HIV starts treatment at a late stage of the infection, when the immune system is already significantly damaged. At the end of 2015, some 22,900 people were living with HIV in the Netherlands. By breaking the taboo, the H-TEAM hopes to encourage people to get tested and start their treatment earlier. Apart from the greeting cards, the H-TEAM launches two videos, which show that HIV is a normal part of everyday life, and the website www.laatjesneltesten.nl (Dutch only).
The videos show the perceived impact of HIV on your day-to-day life and sex life in a playful way. We see two men at an appointment with their mortgage advisor and two guys who end up in bed together after a night out (both videos with English subtitles).
Quick treatment of HIV
Nowadays the treatment of HIV is so advanced that living with HIV isn’t much of a burden for most people: for them, it’s a chronic condition that often can be kept under control with one moment of medication per day. Furthermore, treatment usually leads to an undetectable amount of HIV in the blood, so that the virus can’t be transmitted to others anymore. Direct treatment has more advantages, particularly when you have recently been infected with HIV. In that case, the immune system can recover quickly, before the body suffers any damage.
Greeting cards for sale
The ‘positive’ greeting cards are available from October 12, 2017 at Amsterdam bookstore Scheltema, Savannah Bay in Utrecht and the American Book Center locations in The Hague and Amsterdam. Part of the profits go towards the AIDS fund. More information on www.laatjesneltesten.nl.