“One Community, One Love” was AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) Europe’s theme for its boat as part of the Amsterdam Pride Canal Parade on August 5. The colorful boat was selected as one of 80 watercraft in the procession, which celebrated the LGBTQ community in the Netherlands.
“The slogan is meant to celebrate life, diversity and community unification,” said AHF Europe Bureau Chief Zoya Shabarova. “We hope the second message of “FreeHIVTest” on our boat will promote expanded rapid testing in different settings, including by family doctors, medical facilities and in community settings.
This was AHF’s first appearance in the Canal Parade, which brought together many supporters and partners from across Europe. The event attracted thousands of spectators and provided an opportunity to promote AHF’s Rapid Testing Program and website. Snorella, one of the country’s most popular drag queens, helped spread awareness by being tested publicly for HIV and performed live with DJ Maxime Duvalle while floating the canal.
“AHF Europe runs rapid testing services across Europe to support easy access to HIV screening for populations affected by HIV,” said AHF Europe Deputy Bureau Chief Anna Zakowicz. “In the Netherlands, we operate the free and user-friendly AHF Checkpoint Amsterdam—it utilizes a community-based model and works with peer testers and counselors to provide same-day results in a confidential and welcoming environment.”
Two clients tested positive for HIV and were immediately linked to care. AHF has been working in the Netherlands since 2012.