International Fetish Day – #WeAreFetish The third Friday of January is named International Fetish Day. On this occasion, we invite you to (re)read this magnificent text written by Gael. He reminds us that we are one big family despite our differences. The #wearefetish movement started as a simple hashtag in
EuroTestWeek has started
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This initiative has progressed since its start in 2013 and has grown to be a widely recognised European event with hundreds of organisations participating every year. What once started as an annual event has now become a biannual event with two ETWs occurring each year in Spring (May) and Autumn (November). Each organisation volunteers their own time to organise their Testing Week activities and create incredible displays of a united effort to increase testing awareness at all organisational levels. The aim of the Spring and Autumn ETWs remains the same: to unite partner organisations throughout Europe for one week to increase access to testing and promote awareness on the benefits of earlier hepatitis and HIV testing.
We are in need of your continued support for European Testing Week. Through united efforts, on a national and international level, we aim to ensure that more people become aware of their HIV and hepatitis status by providing access to free and safe HIV and/or hepatitis tests. This is why #BEsneax has signed the EuroTestWeek charter. As a community association primarily targeting men who have sex with other men and particularly concerned about the well-being of its members, we had to join in this initiative.
Get tested in Belgium
Obviously, we do not organize test sessions ourselves. We don’t have the skills or the expertise. On the other hand, we invite people to turn to the partner structures that are Sensoa in Flanders (and Brussels) & Ex-Aequo in Wallonia (and Brussels). Of course, it’s totally free. For this edition of the European Testing Week, Mr Sneakers Belgium recorded a video widely distributed on social networks.
The progress of science
It’s better to know your status as soon as possible because today people living with HIV can live well with a long life expectancy when treatment starts early. HIV treatment advances mean that you can live healthily for a long time if you are diagnosed early. Data from the START (Strategic Timing of AntiRetroviral Treatment) trial indicate that starting anti-HIV treatment soon after diagnosis of HIV infection protects people’s health, instead of waiting for the CD4 count to drop to 350.
1 out of 5 of the 2.3 million people living with HIV in Europe are currently unaware that are HIV positive; and over 50% of those who are positive are diagnosed late, delaying access to treatment
About hepatitis C & B
It’s better to know your status as soon as possible because today people with hepatitis B can live well with a long life expectancy when treatment starts early, and those with hepatitis C can be cured. Knowing your status can also help prevent you from passing on the viruses to others.
Hepatitis C treatment advances mean that a cure is now available. Hepatitis B treatment exists to prevent liver cancer and liver cirrhosis. There is also a vaccine to help prevent you from getting infected with HBV.
In the WHO European Region it is estimated that 14 million people are living with hepatitis C; however, only a small minority of people receive treatment. In the WHO European Region, the average treatment rate is estimated at only 4.6%. It’s estimated that around 15 million people are living with hepatitis B in the WHO European Region. Approximately 20-30% of infected individuals will develop cirrhosis, liver failure or hepatocellular carcinoma.
The autumn edition of EuroTestWeek will take place from 21 to 28 November 2022. Obviously, we advise you not to wait until then and to carry out more regular screenings, ideally every 3 months. Obviously, your general doctor remains your privileged interlocutor and most hospitals have a specialized department. On a daily basis, our partners Sensoa and Ex-Aequo are at your disposal for all your questions regarding health and well-being.