VMSJ is back with free HIV tests in São Paulo

The project Viva Melhor Sabendo Jovem (Live Better Knowing – Young) is back from vacation making communication actions and urban interventions with a mobile medical trailer, promoting free HIV testing, distributing condoms and offering support and guiding to treatment for the reagents. Their actions take place in Largo do Arouche, in São Paulo (SP), every friday and saturday, from 6pm to 10pm. The project will happen until september, stopping only for carnaval.

VMSJ’s mobile medical trailer didn´t park on Largo do Arouche by accident. The place was chosen, together with São Paulo´s Program for HIV/Aids, because it is a place where LGBT community meets, enabling the testing between couples. This strategy aims the LGBT public by betting on the presence of other young LGBT during the testing. Those young people are trained by the city health department to do the tests and coached by Viração during the actions.

Apart from the testing actions, on the 21th january, the project will take part in the Gaymada, an event for LGBT community to play dodgeball in public spaces. It happens on saturdays in Largo da Batata, São Paulo (SP), from 1pm to 9pm.

VMSJ started in 2015 aiming the youth. In São Paulo it is promoted by the City Hall with Viração partnership.

 

Epidemic situation – According to Brazil Health Ministry 2015 registry, in the past 10 years, the number of adolescents and young people between 15 and 24 years old with HIV has increased 41% in Brazil. In São Paulo, though, according to the city health department, the percentage of HIV/Aids cases between man who have sex with man has decreased among people with 30 to 60 years old. However, this percentage increased among people with 13 to 29 years old.

As stated in a 2015 report from São Paulo City Hall, 59% of people with 15 to 24 years old had access to condoms in the last year. The research has also informed that only 20% of this public has tested for HIV/Aids in their lives, and just 45% of them knew that this service was available for free in public service.

 

About Viva Melhor Sabendo JovemLive Better Knowing Young (VMSJ, portuguese initials) is a health strategy that aims increasing the acess from adolescents and young people to HIV testing. It is executed by means of reception, referral and adherence to the treatment for the reactive public, as well as the acess to information about prevention and self care, through extra testing between couples.

 

From October to December 2016, 14 actions had happened, with 20 to 25 tests each. In this 3 months, 329 people were tested, mostly young people from 12 to 29 years old. The results show that 5,5% are reagent.
Apart from testing and advising for prevention, the young agents produce comunication products. That way, they increase the incitement for prevention, testing, and treatment, as well as fighting prejudice against STD´s online.  Follow their page and Viração´s page on Facebook to know more.