Kuipers discussing accessibility of PrEP

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The preventive drug PrEP protects against HIV infections, but the drug is not yet freely accessible to everyone in the Netherlands. At the moment, 8,500 people who are at increased risk of HIV are getting access to the drug. Another 3,000 people are on the waiting list. Health minister Ernst Kuipers therefore wants to talk to general practitioners and GGDs about providing PrEP.

‘gross scandal’

Despite the great interest in the drug, Minister Kuipers of Public Health refuses to expand the pilot project with the pill, which started in 2019 and in which 8,500 people are currently participating. Kuipers also said last October that he does not want to give more money to the GGDs for PrEP care. HIV activists see this as a ‘gross scandal’.

Listen to the whole podcast here | 5. For PrEP

Figures from the HIV monitoring foundation show that last year 48 people became infected with HIV while they wanted to use PrEP, but did not have access to the pill in time. Marc van der Valk, director of the HIV monitoring foundation, therefore sees the limited access to the drug with regret. According to Van der Valk, the healthcare costs for living with HIV are also much higher than when someone uses PrEP. ‘We have even shown that the use of PrEP is cost effective.’


Minister Kuipers states that people who want to use the drug can also do so if they arrange it through their GP and are prepared to pay a little more. However, GPs do not always offer PrEP, even though it is allowed. To be able to offer PrEP care, GPs must take an extra course. The general practitioners’ interest group believes that PrEP care falls under STD care. They think it belongs to the GGDs.

‘It is vital that people who take PrEP are under close supervision by a doctor. ‘

Silke David, STI and sexual health program manager.

Although PrEP costs a little more than 7 euros for thirty pills, according to program manager STI and sexual health, Silke David, it is not an option to put the drug on the shelves at the drugstore. ‘It is vitally important that the people who take the medicine are under close supervision by a doctor,’ explains David.

What is PrEP?

PrEP – the abbreviation for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis – is a blue, white or yellow pill that offers protection against HIV if taken at the same time each day. The drug has been available in the Netherlands since 2019. That year, a five-year government pilot started after D66 and Groenlinks requested this. Now GGDs give the drug to a handful of people, there are a few GPs who prescribe it and some companies offer it for a commercial price.

Ernst Kuipers, Minister of Health, will discuss the accessibility of the HIV prevention drug PrEP with general practitioners and GGDs. (APP ROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN) (ANP ROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN)
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