At the Ro Theater in Rotterdam, the kick-off of the Poz&Proud on Tour campaign took place. The tour will travel the country until the summer of 2014 with theme nights for homosexual men. The campaign is a cooperation of the Hiv Vereniging Nederland (HVN), Poz&Proud and the COC.
During Poz&Proud on Tour, sex will be discussed in a relaxed and informative atmosphere, with candid interviews and ample opportunity for discussion and questions. Sex between men is central at these meetings. Subjects are: the joys and burdens of the anus, sex on drugs & alcohol, and how sex without a condom can be safe.
Why are Poz&Proud and the COC organising this tour? Toralt Deinum, coordinator: “As an organisation for gay men with HIV, we noticed that there still are a lot of misunderstandings and prejudices about ‘us’. And vice-versa. This has led to a cramped attitude in the gay community, for which there is no need. There is a difference in HIV status, but the similarities between homosexuals with or without HIV are much vaster.
Poz On Tour - The Swiss Way
The campaign started in Rotterdam with a The Swiss Way (how sex without a condom can be safe) theme night. The Swiss standpoint was at the centre stage, and experts and gay men discussed the impact of HIV treatment on counteracting the transmission of HIV. Under certain conditions, sex without a condom can be safe because of treatment. PrEP was also discussed. It is an HIV medicine someone who is HIV negative gets to protect him or herself against an HIV infection. It is available in the United States, but it will be a while before it can be used here to put a stop to more HIV infections.
Among the guests were documentary maker Patrick Bus, researcher Janneke Bil and HIV specialist Ineke van den Ende (Erasmus Medisch Centrum). The theme night was organised in cooperation with COC Rotterdam.
The tour will continue until the summer of 2014, and Poz&Proud will organise the information nights throughout the country. After the kick-off on November 28 in Rotterdam, Maastricht (January), The Hague (February), Zwolle/Arnhem (March), Leeuwarden (April), Nijmegen (May) and Eindhoven (June) will follow. No dates have been set for the second half of 2014, but the tour will be extended if it is successful.
The campaign is a collaboration of the Hiv Vereniging Nederland, Poz&Proud, various COC member organisations, and COC Netherlands.