Still a ways to go with HIV/AIDS

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Sadly, I keep reading stories like the one published on World AIDS Day on Quartz. Its a story about an increase of HIV infection rates in China. Again we see that this is mainly due to a 400% increase of infection among men who have sex with men. Not only are infection rates increase, but so are the deaths caused by AIDS.

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I often get the impression that many people do not see the disease as a threat any more. They often have the idea that through modern drug therapies, HIV has become a chronic disease and is no longer deadly if well managed. Yet they forget that people are still dying from these disease world wide. This is why I was happy to see the attention given to this disease this year on World AIDS Day (1st of December). I volunteer for the Man tot Man unit of the GGD Amsterdam, and was at this years Love Dance which is a event meant as a closing of the World AIDS Day commemorations and events.

The GGD Amsterdam was at this  party to offer free anonymous HIV testing. And I was happy to see people of all ages, genders, and sexual orientation getting tested. Even though its a small group, at least it promotes awareness of this epidemic and that the fight has not yet been won.

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Author: joelillidge

Joël Illidge is a blogger on health and culture topics with a focus on the sexual health of ethnic minorities in the Netherlands, particularly the Dutch Caribbean LGBTIQ community. He has an educational background in Health Sciences (B.Sc.) and Physiotherapy (B.Health.), and is currently embarking on a Masters in Medical Anthropology at the University of Amsterdam. He is based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

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