HIV prevention pill test begins in Amsterdam gay, transgender community

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GGD Amsterdam has launched a medical study on Prep - a pill that can prevent infection with HIV - among gay men and transgenders. Those interested in joining the study can apply on the GGD Amsterdam website, Soa Aids Nederland reports.

A total of 370 men can participate in the study, which the public health service is doing with the support of the AIDS Fund. Prep is meant for people who do not have HIV, but are at an increased risk of becoming infected. The study will focus on the interest to use Prep, compliance on taking the pill, how it is to use Prep and whether the cost of this program outweigh the costs saved by preventing people from becoming infected with HIV.

Participants can choose between taking Prep on a daily basis, or according to a fixed schedule before and after anal sex. The GGD will closely follow all participants, both in terms of health and in terms of sexual behavior, such as whether they use condoms. The project will run from June 2015 to December 2018.

The study focuses on gay men and transgender people as they have an increased risk of becoming infected with HIV. In 2013 71 percent of all new HIV infections were in gay men.

"Prep is a promising additional means to reduce the number of new HIV infections in the Netherlands. Abroad successful results have already been bucked, I expect that it can also give the HIV-fight here a boost.", said Ton Coenen, director of the Aids Fund and Soa Aids Nederland.