Intro­duc­ing PrEP in the Nether­lands would be cost effec­tive. With a sig­nif­i­cant price reduc­tion, it could even be cost sav­ing. These two find­ings from a study that Dutch researchers from Eras­mus MC and AMC pub­lished in the Lancet Infec­tious Dis­eases should be music to the ears of the Dutch Min­is­ter for Health Edith Schip­pers.

 

PrEP — a smart invest­ment

Recent­ly PrEP became avail­able in Europe, but in the Nether­lands it won’t be cov­ered by health insur­ance. The costs of PrEP are high: 7,400 euros per per­son per year for dai­ly use. PrEP can safe­ly be tak­en “peri­od­i­cal­ly”, sev­er­al hours before one has sex and two con­sec­u­tive days after. Then costs are much low­er, around 3,850 euros per year. For most peo­ple, this is still unaf­ford­able. At a cost reduc­tion of 40 per­cent PrEP would be cost sav­ing, the sci­en­tists cal­cu­lat­ed.

With every pre­vent­ed infec­tion we pre­vent a life­time of HIV treat­ment for 500,000 euros,” researcher David van de Vijver (Eras­mus MC) explains. And with PrEP we could pre­vent between 1,000 to 2,500 new HIV infec­tions over the next decade.

Every year there are more than a thou­sand new HIV infec­tions in the Nether­lands. Approx­i­mate­ly 70 per­cent of these infec­tions occur among men who have sex with men. In most cas­es this hap­pens even before peo­ple are aware they have HIV. Users of PrEP not only pro­tect them­selves against HIV infec­tion, but also their sex part­ners.

 

On Fri­day 30th Sep­tem­ber, Aids Fonds and Soa Aids Ned­er­land, along with COC and WINQ mag­a­zine, organ­ise an evening debate about PrEP in De Balie. Free tick­ets can be ordered at De Balie.

Last updated 03/01/2017