Since the 1980s RFSL has worked actively with securing equal health for LGBTQ people. HIV prevention has been a corner stone in the organisation since then. In spite of big successes we see a continued need to prevent spreading and to counteract discrimination and stigma.
For a long time Sweden has had an ambitious agenda for HIV prevention and is the first country in the world who has achieved goal 90-90-90. That is that 90 per cent of those who live with HIV in a country know their status, of them 90 per cent should have access to treatment and 90 per cent of them should have such a treatment that their viral load is undetectable.
– The reason it goes so well is due to the close cooperation between many non-profit and public actors, in combination with meeting the target groups on their terms, says Mikael Jonsson, director of Hälsa & hiv, RFSL.
The grants for HIV and prevention of STIs went from 146 million SEK to 75 million SEK in the government’s budget for 2017, nearly reducing to half the money. This puts a lot of pressure on municipalities and county councils to run HIV prevention within budget. During 2017 the government will present a new strategy to combat HIV, AIDS and some other STIs. It’s a welcomed initiative, but many fear that the cutbacks signal a lowered level of ambition in the preventative work.
– The prevention can never stop, never to be neglected or be taken for granted. RFSL keeps working for an HIV free world and equal health for all, says Mikael Jonsson.
Towards better health numbers
LGBTQ people have poorer health condition compared to others in society but are far from a homogenous group. All have different health challenges depending on context. That means that RFSL’s health work is broad and we work with a lot of issues.
Testpoint – new way to work with hiv prevention
During 2016 RFSL has offered HIV tests at new places. For example at RFSL’s premises, at the gay club Candy, the sauna club Texas Sauna, the cruising location Frescati and other places around the country.
Testpoint is a project aiming to develop a method for men who have sex with men to get access to testing outside healthcare, which is a new way of working with HIV prevention. That enables tests in the evening in places the target group visit. The aim is to help people who don’t know about their HIV find out about their illness, but also to defuse HIV testing and encourage the target groups to get tested regularly.
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