THE LARGEST BENEFIT GALA IN THE NETHERLANDS FOCUSES ON WOMEN AND GIRLS WITH HIV
The Amsterdam Dinner rolls out the blue carpet on June 10th to make a difference.
The largest and most prestigious benefit gala in the Netherlands, dedicated to achieving an AIDS-free world, is focusing on women and girls with HIV this year. Like every edition of the Amsterdam Dinner, also known as the Met Gala of the Lowlands, it offers an evening program of global significance for over 1100 guests.
Recent statistics have shown that the AIDS epidemic disproportionately affects women and girls worldwide compared to men. Young mothers with HIV who do not know how to protect their unborn children, girls who experience sexual abuse, and women forced to offer their bodies in exchange for food—all of these factors make women particularly vulnerable to HIV.
Last year, during a sold-out pearl anniversary of the Amsterdam Dinner, a record amount of 1.27 million euros was raised, reaching millions of people to generate awareness about HIV and AIDS issues. On Saturday, June 10th, the top representatives of the Dutch business community, politicians, celebrities, artists, fashion designers, and activists will once again go all out to bring an AIDS-free world one step closer.
“Annually, 650,000 people die from the consequences of AIDS, which is unnecessary since there are effective HIV treatments. Still, 10 million people lack access to life-saving medications. This is the result of a lack of healthcare access and the stigma that still surrounds HIV. The Amsterdam Dinner is there for those people. No matter where you live, no matter who you love,”Brandon O’Dell, Director of the Amsterdam Dinner Foundation
Support and attention for women and girls with HIV
AIDS is the leading cause of death among women worldwide up to the age of 49. Pregnant women deserve special attention. 20% of pregnant women with HIV worldwide do not have access to medications, which increases the likelihood of their baby being born with HIV. If that child does not receive life-saving medication immediately, it will die before its second year in half of the cases. Women with HIV are also a forgotten group in the Netherlands. 20% of people living with HIV in the Netherlands are women. 62% of women with a new HIV diagnosis come into contact with healthcare services far too late.
Which projects does the Amsterdam Dinner support this year?
The Amsterdam Dinner makes a difference by providing financial support and creating awareness. This year, the Amsterdam Dinner Foundation supports projects that focus on women and girls worldwide.
- “Kids to Care” (Mozambique): National and local organizations search for pregnant women and children with HIV. Testing takes place in areas with poor access to healthcare, and efforts are made to ensure that mothers and children have access to life-saving medication.
- “Netherlands to Zero” (Netherlands): Support is also provided in the Netherlands. In our country, we strive for zero new HIV infections by 2027. We are well on our way to being the first country worldwide to achieve this goal. To accomplish this, investment is needed in innovative strategies to identify people who are unaware of their HIV status earlier. In 18% of the new infections in 2021, it concerned women. Of these, 63% come into contact with healthcare services far too late. They are often diagnosed in the hospital when they are admitted due to severe symptoms. To better reach women with HIV who are not yet aware of their status and women at risk of HIV infection, more specific information is needed to develop a different approach. Additionally, there is a need for increased support for women with HIV in the Netherlands.