Amsterdam HIV cases drop to almost zero after PrEP scheme
New cases of HIV in Amsterdam have dropped to almost zero thanks to an investment scheme in the preventative drug PrEP.
According to figures from the Dutch AIDS Fund, there were only nine new cases of the virus in Amsterdam in 2022, down from 66 people diagnosed in 2021.
The organisation claimed that 128 people were diagnosed with HIV in Amsterdam in 2019, and since 2010, the number of new infections in the Dutch capital has fallen by 95 per cent.
With a goal to reach zero new HIV transmissions in the city by 2026, the city of Amsterdam reportedly provided an extra budget in 2019 to make PrEP – the medication which reduces viral HIV load to undetectable levels, and makes the disease untransmissable – more widely accessible, including to people like sex workers, who may have a higher risk of infection.
The Dutch AIDS Fund wrote: “This is fantastic news. Amsterdam has shown it is possible to stop HIV and AIDS.
“We are asking the next government to show the same focus and effort.”
UK-based charity The National AIDS Trust explained that Amsterdam’s reduced rate of new transmissions “demonstrates what’s possible” worldwide.
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“Across the UK we now have Governmental commitments to ending new HIV cases by 2030,” Kat Smithson, director of communications and engagement at National AIDS Trust, told PinkNews.
“This result in Amsterdam just shows that this goal is entirely achievable with the right political will and it is a testament to their community response to HIV.”
Smithson added: “The HIV prevention drug PrEP and wider access to HIV testing are proven interventions and we must now widen their access so they reach more people inside and outside of cities England-wide.”
In February this year, it was announced that a 53-year-old man in Germany became the fifth person worldwide to be cured of HIV.
Diagnosed with the virus in 2008, the man received stem cell transplants in 2013 to treat leukaemia, and has ended his HIV treatment without relapsing. He is now the third person to have been cured of the virus through stem cell transplants, according to researchers.
“Today, I am all the more proud of my worldwide team of doctors who succeeded in curing me of HIV – and, at the same time, of course, of leukaemia,” the patient told Sky News in February.
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