The European AIDS Clinical Society (EACS) Conference took place in Milan, Italy, on Oct. 25–27. The conference was an opportunity for people to present current research, gain information and share insight about the work being done to treat and prevent HIV throughout Europe.
The big issue coming up time and time again was the importance of access to antiretroviral medication like PrEP for all people, regardless of HIV status. Great strides have been made in some Western European Countries, but there’s still a great deal of work to do.
PrEP has only been implemented in a handful of countries in Europe, leaving millions of gay men with limited HIV-prevention options. Activists in the UK have been very resourceful when it comes to getting PrEP from the Internet. Pharmacists in Germany were able to apply a little-known law to make PrEP available for just 50 Euro. But in many European countries like Spain, Turkey and Greece, it falls to HIV advocates to educate the community and push for policy change.
Medical access for people living with HIV in Europe is a very important issue. HIV stigma and homophobia are tremendous barriers keeping people from getting the care they need. Additionally, many European migrants don’t have access to HIV treatment, making a human rights disaster that much worse.
Good Sex, Bad Sex, Chem Sex was the title of one standout session that explored gay men’s experience around chemsex, sexually transmitted infections, testing and PrEP. One of the key takeaways from this cleverly titled session was that while chemsex is a hot topic around the world, alcohol still provides a greater sexual health risk than drugs.
Another topic brought up was a European PrEP Survey conducted by Hornet and the European Centers for Disease Control. The survey found respondents on PrEP reported a happier sex life.
We talked to a number of attendees about the work they are doing and the various issues they face.
Watch our video coverage of the European AIDS Conference 2017:
Featured image by VladOrlov via iStock