AMSTERDAM APPROACHES ZERO NEW HIV INFECTIONS
The number of new HIV infections in Amsterdam declined drastically between 2010 and 2022, according to recent figures. Since 2010, there has been a 95% reduction. This has been achieved mainly through the joint efforts of the H-TEAM, a city-wide initiative in which the main health institutions, community groups and the municipal health clinic of Amsterdam work together in a coordinated way. Thanks in part to the use of the HIV prevention pill PrEP, quicker diagnosis of acute infections and the immediate start of treatment after diagnosis, HIV transmission in Amsterdam has decreased significantly over the years.
‘We are well on our way to zero new HIV infections, which is a great milestone,’ says Godelieve de Bree, internist-infectiologist at Amsterdam UMC and project leader of the H-TEAM. To get there, H-TEAM remains committed to collaboration and effectively using the data Amsterdam has on HIV. ‘In order to diagnose or treat everyone with HIV in Amsterdam properly, we will have to work in an increasingly detailed and tailored way. We will focus specifically on people who drop out of HIV prevention or treatment programs. Combating the stigma surrounding HIV and being aware of the vulnerable position people can be in will play an important role in this.’
An estimate has been made of how many people have contracted a new HIV infection in Amsterdam in the period from 2010 to 2022. This was done through a mathematical model developed specifically for this purpose by Stichting hiv Monitoring, one of the partners in the H-TEAM. In 2010 the number was 200, which dropped to 9 people in 2022, which is a 95% decrease. In the same period, the number of diagnoses decreased from 300 people in 2010 to 62 people in 2022, which is a 79% drop.
Amsterdam to zero new HIV infections
‘This decline is a hopeful indication of Amsterdam’s ambition to reach zero new HIV infections in the city by 2026.We really need to get to zero now, and access to PrEP for all would help enormously in reaching that target. There should no longer be a waiting list for PrEP,” said Councilman Scholtes (Care).
Amsterdam has achieved, following London, the UNAIDS target for ending the HIV epidemic by 2030. This means that 95% of people with HIV have been diagnosed, 95% of those are in treatment, and 95% of those have an unmeasurable amount of virus in their blood, are successfully treated and can therefore no longer transmit the virus. Amsterdam is above that target for the first time this year, with 98%-95%-96.