Ex Aequo Marks 30 Years: Reflecting on a Journey of HIV Advocacy

Ex Aequo, the community association for gay men’s health, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year with the launch of an online exhibition. Titled “toujourspas.exaequo.be,” the exhibition chronicles the significant milestones in the organization’s efforts for the health of men who have sex with men.

The title of the online exhibition, “toujourspas.exaequo.be,” holds a deeper meaning, as explained by its president, Pablo Sanz Moreno. He states, “Gay and bisexual men, and more broadly LGBTI individuals, often face challenges in accessing healthcare. We often have to come out medically, exposing our lifestyles to possible judgment. Many LGBTI people prefer to conceal their lifestyles from healthcare professionals.”

Adding to these challenges are outdated fears for people living with HIV, further complicating access to healthcare. Sanz Moreno emphasizes, “It cannot be stressed enough: a person on treatment with an undetectable viral load does not transmit the virus.”

Despite the progress made, with 43% of HIV transmissions still occurring through male-to-male sexual contact in 2022, Ex Aequo’s president laments the disproportionate public funding. He remarks, “It’s an institutionalized situation in funding that remains unjust. It’s a clear discrimination: we are clearly not equal in our access to healthcare.”

Since its inception in 1994, the association has been fighting against such discriminations. Initially focused on HIV, Ex Aequo has evolved with the advancements in treatment and prevention methods. Today, the association is working on establishing a Maison Arc-en-Ciel de la Santé, a medical center located near the Manneken Pis, in collaboration with other LGBTI organizations.

Through the online exhibition, Ex Aequo’s volunteers aim to narrate this journey of resilience and commitment to the community’s health. Pablo Sanz Moreno concludes, “Our association has remained relevant and true to its primary mission: to act for and with the gay community in the fight against HIV and for better health. Because LGBTI individuals have an equal right to health and care.”

Link : toujourspas.exaequo.be