Since 01/06/2017 PrEP is available and reimbursed in Belgium for persons at increased risk of HIV infection. It is reimbursed by social health insurance (‘mutuality’). To get PrEP reimbursed, you need to go to an HIV reference centre.
In principle every doctor can prescribe PrEP, but it will only be reimbursed if it is prescribed by a doctor-specialist who is connected to an HIV reference centre.
The Institute of Tropical Medicine is such a centre and you can book a consultation online in the section ‘HIV/STI consultation’.
A list of the other centres can be found here.
First of all the doctor will verify whether you meet the criteria for PrEP reimbursement and will perform/ request some tests (e.g. an HIV test).
If you are eligible, a request for reimbursement will be submitted to the patient’s health insurance.This document will be valid for a year, after which the doctor can apply for an extension if needed.
If you are not eligible, you can discuss with the doctor what other options would be available
There are a few criteria you have to meet to get reimbursed:
– Be minimum 18 years old
– Be HIV negative (confirmed by an HIV test)
– Have an increased risk for a (sexually transmitted) HIV infection
What is meant with an increased risk for a (sexually transmitted) HIV infection?
For men who have sex with men (MSM):
– You have had condomless anal sex with at least 2 partners during the last 6 months OR
– You have had multiple sexual transmitted diseases (STI’s) during the last year OR
– You needed multiple times PEP during the last year OR
– You use psychoactive substances (drugs) during sexual activities
For other groups at risk:
– Persons who inject drugs and share syringes
– Persons who are forced in prostitution to have condomless sex
– Persons in general who are exposed to condomless sex and have an increased risk for an HIV infection
The World Health Organisation recommends to plan a new visit every three months in order to perform the necessary tests (e.g. HIV and STI testing).
If necessary this can be performed from a distance (e.g. online) or via other care providers (e.g. via the family physician).
If PrEP is reimbursed, a box of 30 pills costs about € 12. These prices are the same for the branded drugs as for the generic version.
These prices are only applicable if PrEP is reimbursed by your health insurance.
Apart of the pill cost, you also have to take into account the costs of the necessary tests (e.g. HIV or STI tests) and the costs for the consultation. The latter also depends on which doctor you visit.