Over 6000 Dutch people don't know they have HIV

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. Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Gary van der Merwe

According to an estimate by the United Nations, 25 thousand Dutch people have HIV and 6 thousand do not know that they are infected.

"Apparently we are still not reaching people enough." says SHM director Peter Reiss. Clinics and hospitals will have to test for HIV more frequently, in order to reach the group of people who do not realize that they are infected. HIV should also be treated earlier, according to the HIV Monitoring Foundation (SHM).

Approximately 16 thousand people are currently receiving treatment for HIV in the Netherlands. More than a thousand people are diagnosed with HIV every year, including about 350 in Amsterdam. THe number of diagnoses has been the same for a few years. "We do not want to remain stable, we want that number to decrease" says Reiss.

Next year Amsterdam will launch a new approach to stop the spreading of HIV, mainly aimed at gay men. They will be encouraged to get tested if they have certain symptoms after risky sex. Another part of the project is a trail with drinking medicine argumentatively to prevent HIV infection.

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