Amsterdam, Utrecht struggling with long waitlists for HIV prevention pills
At the GGD in Amsterdam and Utrecht, hundreds of people are on the waitlist for HIV prevention pills and some have reportedly become infected while waiting, according to AT5. The GGD is currently looking at ways to better serve patients.
In Amsterdam, the waitlist for the GGD's PrEP program stretches to 500 people and the program has been full since last autumn, said the head of the Center for Sexual Health. Around 20 people per week sign up for the PrEP program online. In Utrecht, the AD reports that 300 people are currently on the GGD's waiting list to receive pills preventing an HIV infection, and some became infected with the virus while waiting.
"Access to PrEP in the Netherlands is still not well organized and that is a missed opportunity," said Bert Herberigs of the Aidsfonds. "This drug is essential to reduce the number of infections and saves costs in healthcare. Because PrEP prevents lifelong treatment for an HIV infection."
Patients in the GGD's program are given free tests for HIV and other STIs every three months, as well as discounted access to PrEP pills. These tablets mitigate the risk of being infected with HIV.
The Amsterdam GGD is currently investigating looking into transferring some of its most stable patients to general practitioners. "GPs can and want to take over this. The GGD is there for the most vulnerable people," the Amsterdam GGD said.
However, Monique Roedoe of the LHV medical trade association told AD that sometimes general practitioners are not qualified for this. "The solution to this problem does not lie with the general practitioner," Roedoe said. "PrEP is not part of the standard offer. This is really the responsibility of the GGD. Our view is that the majority of our members do not provide this care."