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Fight Against HIV: PrEP Trial GGD Amsterdam

by Redaktie in Health & Body , 29 August 2015

Dit artikel is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar

The Public Health Service of Amsterdam (GGD Amsterdam) has started a research project involving homosexual men and transgenders on the usability of PrEP for HIV prevention: the AMPrEP (Amsterdam PrEP) project.

PrEP is a pill with HIV inhibitors that can prevent an HIV infection. The pill is meant for people that are HIV negative, but run a higher risk of getting infected. The project's purpose is to find out how many men would want to use PrEP, the degree of drug adherence, how users perceive using it, and whether it changes condom use.

It is the first time that PrEP is researched in The Netherlands, and worldwide, it is the first time that trial participants can choose between a daily PrEP dose or PrEP on a fixed schedule before and after unsafe sex. Recent international research shows that PrEP is very effective: new HIV infections see a decrease of 86 percent.

New Approach HIV Prevention

The number of new HIV infections has stabilised in recent years. The Netherlands has seen about 1,100 new HIV patients each year, with 370 cases in Amsterdam. In 2013, 71 percent of all new HIV infections occurred in homosexual men. This group, supplemented by transgenders that also run a higher risk of contracting the virus, has been chosen as the target group of this first research project.

These new infections take place in spite of safe-sex campaigns, the availability of cheap condoms and the health care that is organised for this risk group via STD clinics - for example the free testing on STDs. To further reduce the number of new HIV infections, new methods such as PrEP are necessary. PrEP is an addition to existing prevention strategies, for instance condoms.

Research Project and Entry

The project, which has place for 370 men, focusses on the interest in using PrEP (how many people want to participate and why), drug adherence (are they taking it as advised?), what it is like using it, and whether the costs of such a programme outweigh the costs that will be saved by preventing HIV infections.

The participants will be offered a choice between a daily dose or using PrEP on a fixed schedule, before and after anal sex without a condom. The GGD will follow all participants closely, both on health aspects and sexual behaviour, including the use of condoms.

Those who are interested can register via the website of GGD Amsterdam. The project will be carried out from June 2015 to December 1, 2018.



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