Amsterdam, Utrecht GGD plagued by long waiting lists for HIV prevention pills
At the GGD in Amsterdam and Utrecht, hundreds of people are on the waiting list for HIV prevention pills and some are believed to have been infected while waiting, according to AT5. The GGD is currently looking at ways to better serve patients.
In Amsterdam, the waiting list for GGD’s PrEP program has grown to 500 people and the program has been fully booked since last fall, the head of the Center for Sexual Health said. About 20 people a week register online for the PrEP program. In Utrecht, the AD reports that 300 people are currently on the GGD’s waiting list for pills to prevent HIV infection, and some have been infected with the virus while waiting.
“Access to PrEP in the Netherlands is still not well organized and this is a missed opportunity,” said Bert Herberigs from Aidsfonds. “This drug is essential to reduce the number of infections and save money on health care. Because PrEP prevents the lifelong treatment of an HIV infection.”
Patients in the GGD program receive free testing for HIV and other STIs every three months, as well as discounted access to PrEP pills. These tablets reduce the risk of becoming infected with HIV.
The Amsterdam GGD is currently studying the possibility of transferring some of its most stable patients to general practitioners. “General practitioners can and want to take care of this. The GGD is there for the most vulnerable people,” said GGD Amsterdam.
However, Monique Roedoe of the medical professional association LHV told AD that sometimes GPs are not qualified for this. “The solution to this problem does not lie with the GP,” Roedoe said. “PrEP is not part of the standard offer. It is really the responsibility of the GGD. Our opinion is that the majority of our members do not provide this care.”