This morning, Co-President of the LGBTI Intergroup Daniele Viotti MEP got an HIV test in the framework of the European HIV/hepatitis testing week.
The week has officially been endorsed by the European Commission and the European Parliament intergroup on LGBTI Rights.
Daniele Viotti MEP reacted: “HIV/AIDS is still a major public health concern, even though we have the science and the experience to end it as a threat. This is why I am calling for strong and sustained political engagement of the Commission to support evidence-based interventions at national level in order to get people diagnosed and linked to care early, and to access relevant prevention tools to reduce new infections.”
“Particularly, we need to increase HIV testing amongst the groups most affected by the epidemic, including homo- & bisexual men, other men who have sex with men (MSM), transgender people and other groups.”
Pierre Mayeur, President of Ex Aequo, the Belgium based gay organisation offering the free test in the Parliament, commented: “HIV testing should be key in the public response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The sooner a person knows their status, the sooner they will be treated and they will be less at risk of transmitting the virus since an HIV positive person following a treatment can no longer transmit the virus. Many local LGBTI organisations across Europe offer such services.”
“Talking to a general practitioner about sexual health remains difficult these days for most MSM. LGBTI NGOs are often the closest and most natural partner to talk to and people know they will not be judged nor frowned upon.”