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Promotion of HIV testing

Our main goal in the promotion of HIV testing in Sub-Saharan African communities in Flanders is early diagnosis of HIV and timely access to care. More than half of Sub-Saharan Africans living with HIV (52%) received their HIV diagnosis late (CD4<350cells/µl or AIDS symptoms within three months after the HIV diagnosis). This delay in diagnosis results in:

  • delayed access to treatment,
  • (probably) more severe medical consequences of the HIV-infection
  • an increased risk of HIV transmission

An early diagnosis of HIV benefits patients and is at the same time an effective way to stop the spread of HIV.

Recent research has also shown that many Sub-Saharan African migrants living with HIV may not know their HIV status. The TOGETHER study, conducted in Antwerp in 2014, has shown that 6% of Sub-Saharan African women and 3% of the Sub-Saharan African men living in Antwerp are HIV positive; 53% of them did not report their status.

The promotion of knowing one’s HIV status and reducing barriers for HIV-testing is therefore a priority for the HIV-SAM Project. Together with community leaders we organize different activities to sensitize the Sub-Saharan African communities in Flanders about the importance of HIV testing. In addition, we bring HIV testing to the communities by organizing outreach HIV testing sessions. Many diagnostic opportunities are missed in the regular health care system because doctors do not routinely propose an HIV test. Therefore we also promote provider-initiated HIV testing and counseling at the rotuine health care level. To achieve this, we mainly work with first line service providers and their professional associations.

More information about HIV-testing among Sub-Saharan African migrants? Read our studies.

Do you want to help us in the fight against HIV

Who are we? The Project supports HIV prevention and sexual health promotion with Sub-Saharan African Migrants (SAM) in Flanders. Together with the Sub-Saharan African communities and their leaders we develop, implement and evaluate targeted HIV prevention campaigns. We also support sub-Saharan African people living with HIV. Profile Volunteers are an important resource for our prevention …

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Social Stigma: The Hidden Threat of COVID-19.

Stigma is a pervasive problem that creates more fear and anger against people instead of focusing on the illness behind it. Stigma has its basis in discrimination against a group of people, a place or a nation. During this pandemic, people tend to look for a culprit for the situation out of fear of illness …

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Are COVID-19 vaccines safe for people living with HIV?

The COVID-19 vaccines offered in Europe today have been approved by regulators including the European Medicines Agency. The vaccines are tested for safety in humans during development and are therefore only approved if safety is proven in most people, including those living with HIV. Before vaccines are licensed for scale-up, national regulatory authorities assess the …

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Safe COVID-19 vaccines for all ~ Message from the EU

Vaccination against COVID-19 started on 27 December 2020 across the European Union, in a moment of unity. A safe and effective vaccine is our lasting way out of the pandemic. The European Commission has been working tirelessly to secure doses of vaccines, and approved three COVID-19 vaccines, which were assessed as being safe and effective. …

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Happy Holidays and a wonderful New Year

The Hiv-Sam team wishes you a healthy and prosperous 2021, may it become a blooming period for both professional and private life and may we soon see all HIV and Corona problems come to an end. Christiana, Ddungu, Lazare, Monique

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World Aids Dag

http://www.hivsam.be/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/WADEng-result.pdf World AIDS Day 1st December 20202020 has been a challenging year, whereby COVID_19 restrictions made us innovate in order to keep track of our core mission: reaching out to communities of Sub-Saharan origin and working together for sexual health of all.1st December will be World Aids Day (WAD), the day that we come together …

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Invitation HIV post-fall conferences webinar 26th November 7-8:30 pm

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