Injection Drug Use-Related HIV in The Netherlands, 2012

"The national HIV/ AIDS registration of the HIV Monitoring Foundation (SHM) was appointed by the Dutch Ministry of Health Welfare and Sport as the executive organisation for the monitoring of HIV in the Netherlands in 2002. This registration contains data on HIV-infected patients who are seen regularly by HIV/ AIDS treating physicians in one of the 26 collaborative HIV treatment centres throughout the country. It also includes data from a prior project on HIV positive patients treated between 1998 and 2001 (the AIDS Therapy Evaluation Netherlands, or ATHENA, cohort). The longitudinal, anonymous data are used to monitor changes in the HIV epidemic, the natural history of HIV and the effects of treatment ( The latest available report of the SHM shows again that men who have sex with men (MSM) still account for the largest number of HIV diagnoses annually (Van Sighem et al., 2012). The number of new diagnoses is still increasing in MSM of 55 years or older. A steady decline, though, is now seen in younger MSM and in patients infected through heterosexual contact, which is attributable to the reduction of immigration from HIV-endemic countries. Since several years, the contribution of injecting drug users to new HIV diagnoses is less than 1%.
"• In 2012, 843 new HIV diagnoses were reported in the treatment centres. In 4 men and 0 women injecting drug use was the most likely route of transmission (table 6.2.1) (Soetens et al., 2013).
"• Up to December 2012 a cumulative total of 20,528 HIV-infected individuals were registered by the treatment centres and the HIV Monitoring Foundation (Soetens et al., 2013). The percentage of patients infected with HIV through injecting drug use is 3.6 (737 patients). Up to 2000, 8% of all new HIV-diagnoses was associated with injecting drug use, but since 2000 this has declined sharply. The main route of HIV-transmission in the Netherlands is sexual: through MSM contact in 57% of cases and through heterosexual contact in 31%.
"• 72% of HIV-positive IDUs originated from the Netherlands and 23% from other Western European countries."


Van Laar M.W., Cruts G, Van Ooyen-Houben M., Croes E., Van der Pol P., Meijer, R., Ketelaars T., (2014). The Netherlands drug situation 2013: report to the EMCDDA by the Reitox National Focal Point. Trimbos-instituut/WODC, Utrecht/Den Haag, p. 64.