More and more AIDS cases. The bow is to remind you to test yourself

Recent months have had a negative impact on the number of HIV tests performed.

Recent months have had a negative impact on the number of HIV tests performed.

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In Poland, there is a growing group of HIV + people who go to hospitals too late, in such a serious condition that it is difficult to help them. Experts observed that the COVID-19 pandemic had a negative impact on the number of HIV tests performed. On November 25, a red bow will be reminded of the need to test for HIV, which will be displayed on some streets in Gdańsk.

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From January 1 to December 31, 2020, 840 newly detected HIV infections, 47 AIDS cases and 10 AIDS deaths were reported. Among the detected people living with the virus in the Pomeranian Voivodeship, 74 cases and 1 case of AIDS were detected. The statistics provided by the National Institute of Public Health – National Research Institute may be worrying. In 2019, the number of newly detected infections in Poland amounted to 1615. In 2020 – only 840.

– The statistics for 2021 are no better than those we saw in previous years. Still many patients from those who decide to take the tests – get a positive result. Let’s remember about PrEP – that is, HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis, which is becoming a more and more widely used method by many people. It is an inexpensive drug that can protect us from HIV infection. Paired with condoms, it’s a powerful tool to fight sexually transmitted diseases, she says bow. Andrzej Katafias, founder of the PrEP Center in Gdańsk and the doctorprep.pl remote platform.
A new PBS study among people living with HIV shows that we have better access to doctors and therapy, and that you can live with the virus as long as you know about it. The red bow, which will illuminate the streets of Gdańsk on November 25, will remind you of the need to test for HIV and the threat posed by the falling number of tests performed in Poland.

Also read: When is sex dangerous? “Viruses don’t care”

The route of the red bow displayed in Gdańsk.  The starting point will be the Baltic Philharmonic.

The route of the red bow displayed in Gdańsk. The starting point will be the Baltic Philharmonic.

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A bow to remind you of the research

According to the National AIDS Center, the “red bow” is a symbol of solidarity with people living with HIV and AIDS, their families and friends. It symbolizes dedication and commitment to the fight against AIDS. It is the first step in the dissemination of HIV and AIDS.

This year, tests for HIV will be recalled by a red bow with the inscription “Together against HIV”, which will light up the streets of Gdańsk on Thursday, on the occasion of the European Testing Week. It will be accompanied by citylights with the same message. This symbol will also be seen by residents of other cities: Kraków, Poznań, Toruń and Warsaw.

– The purpose of this happening, organized for several years by Gilead Sciences and the Polish Humanitarian Aid Foundation ‘Res Humanae’, is to remind Poles that HIV is still dangerous. being infected, she can function normally and enjoy life today, he said Mateusz Liwski, president of Res Humanae.

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in fewer people getting tested

In Poland, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the detection of HIV infections has significantly decreased. Even today in infectious diseases hospitals there are many seropositive patients diagnosed at a very late, life-threatening stage of infection, and sometimes with developed AIDS. In the coming years their number may increase – experts are alarming, among them prof. Alicja Wiercińska-Drapało, head of the Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases and Hepatology at the Medical University of Warsaw.

– COVID-19 is a serious pandemic, but not the only one. Let’s not forget about HIV. The fact that people are less likely to go clubbing during the COVID-19 pandemic does not mean they are not having sexual contact. They have house parties, dating apps are running. And then you don’t do tests and forget about risky behavior over time. Until such a patient comes to our ward as a person with late diagnosis of HIV, whom we often cannot help anymore – says prof. Alicja Wiercińska-Drapało.
We live in a time when quick detection and access to good treatment are very optimistic about further steps. Quick selection of drugs gives the HIV + person an undetectable viremia and therefore not infecting partners.

HIV infections and AIDS cases in Poland in 1996-2020

– Overall, between 2005 and 2020, we performed approximately 22,800 HIV tests, 333 of which were positive. In recent years, we have provided our PKD clients with approximately 5,700 HCV tests, detecting 56 infections, and approximately 1,300 syphilis tests, detecting 46 infections. On the occasion of World AIDS Day, I would like to remind you that AIDS is a disease that can be avoided by using antiretroviral drugs. The treatment is free of charge, and its additional benefit is to minimize the transmission of HIV to relatives to zero. To find out about the need for treatment, you need to do a test. Poles and Polish women are stuck in the stereotypes of the last millennium and do not relate the risk of HIV infection to themselves, and thus they do not decide to test in this direction. This is a mistake. People living with HIV are our friends, neighbors, ordinary people next to us and among us, simply us. We do not recognize HIV by appearance, education or profession. We are not tested enough, and we often only enter the healthcare system when we suffer from AIDS symptoms. Therefore, I would like to take the opportunity to invite you to a free and anonymous HIV test at Consultation and Diagnostic Centers in Gdańsk and Gdynia, which is run by the Foundation – says Małgorzata Paliwoda, vice-president of the Pomeranian House of Hope Foundation.
The HIV test is not worth being afraid of. According to opinion polls conducted among HIV + people in 2021 by PBS, we have better access to doctors and ARV therapy, and we can live normally with the virus. However, you need to know about the infection.

We would like to remind you that you can be tested anonymously and free of charge for HIV at the Consultation and Diagnostic Centers

PKD Gdańsk, ul. Smoluchowskiego 18Map
(building G next to the Hospital for Infectious Diseases, entrance 2)

Mon, Tue, Thu time. 16:00 – 20:00 (registration until 19:15)

PKD Gdynia, ul. Huzarska 1Map
(building 28 next to the Sea Hospital, room 308 on the third floor)

Wed 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. and 8:00 – 12:00
The last client is received half an hour before the closing of the PKD. Registration at pkd.nakiedy.pl.

In both PKD tests for HCV and syphilis can be added to the HIV test.

About Peter Wilson

In love with technology, with an eye towards smartphones, he does not disdain any activity linked to the Nerd world. TV series, movies, manga, anime, and comics (Marvel addicted) are the order of the day.

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