AMSTERDAM--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, marked the 2017 Amsterdam Canal Gay Pride on Saturday, August 5 by floating a “One Community, One Love” boat as part of the event. The AHF Europe boat was selected to become one of 80 watercraft participating in the procession, which celebrates the lives of, and solidarity with the LGBTQ community in the Netherlands. This was the first time AHF took part in the Amsterdam Canal Pride.
AHF is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and continues to support the LGBTQ community. At festivals throughout the 2017 Pride season across the globe, AHF gives away free condoms, shares information on STI prevention and treatment, and provides free rapid HIV testing. At the Canal Pride parade, AHF staff, clients, volunteers and partners from across Europe rode on the “One community, One love” boat.
“The slogan is very self-explanatory, “One Community One Love” stands to celebrate life, diversity and unity of the community, said Zoya Shabarova, AHF Europe Bureau Chief. “We continue to support LGBTQ equality as well as bringing HIV rapid testing closer to people, promote expanded use of rapid testing in different settings including family doctors, medical facilities and community settings. This is why the second message on the boat was ‘freeHIVtest’.”
In Europe, AHF in partnership with governmental and non-governmental organizations provides care and treatment to more than 50,000 people living with HIV. By next year, one million people in Europe will have an opportunity to find out their HIV status using AHF services with easy and free one-minute rapid tests. AHF advocates at national, regional and European levels for access to these essential services for all communities affected by HIV.
“AHF Europe runs community-based HIV rapid testing services across Europe to support and promote easy access to HIV screening for populations affected by HIV,” said Anna Zakowicz, AHF Europe Deputy Bureau Chief. “In The Netherlands, we operate the ‘AHF Checkpoint Amsterdam’, which is a unique free of charge, walk-in, user-friendly facility. The AHF Checkpoint uses the community-based model and works with peer testers and counsellors, providing same-day result for HIV testing in a confidential and welcoming environment. The team also conducts outreach testing in a mobile van at various locations throughout the Netherlands.”
The AHF Checkpoint Amsterdam testing program has grown gradually since 2013. Throughout the years, the Checkpoint team had tested more than 12,000 people, distributed over half a million condoms and helped more than 100 people to find out their HIV positive status and receive support in accessing treatment. During the Pride, AHF Checkpoint Amsterdam’s staff and volunteers will also be providing free HIV testing and giveaways. On the day of the Canal Pride, rapid testing will be performed on the mobile van at the famous “Homomonument” community space.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over 770,000 individuals in 39 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare and Instagram: @aidshealthcare
To learn more about AHF Checkpoint Amsterdam please visit: www.freeHIVtest.nl
For a complete list of Pride festivals in which AHF already took part and will participate in 2017, visit www.ahfparticipate.org
About Pride Amsterdam
Everyone has the right to be who you are and to love who you want. The Amsterdam Gay Pride Foundation wants to bring attention to human rights in general and the acceptance and equality of LHBTIs in particular, everywhere in the world. Pride is a grand party and at the same time an impressive plea for the emancipation of LHBTIs. Every year hundreds of thousands of visitors come to the capital to attend the nine-day festival. Pride Amsterdam offers a range of events in the area of debate, art, theater, film, dance, party and sport with its partners. Highlight is the famous Boats parade, bringing content and entertainment together to a vibrant spectacle. More information and program at www.pride.amsterdam.