• Evaluating progress towards triple elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, syphilis and hepatitis B in the Netherlands.

      Visser, Maartje; Van der Ploeg, Catharina P B; Smit, Colette; Hukkelhoven, Chantal W P M; Abbink, Frithjofna; van Benthem, Birgit H B; Op de Coul, Eline L M (2019-03-29)
      In 2014 the World Health Organisation (WHO) established validation criteria for elimination of mother-to-child transmission (EMTCT) of HIV and syphilis. Additionally, the WHO set targets to eliminate hepatitis, including hepatitis B (HBV). We evaluated to what extent the Netherlands has achieved the combined WHO criteria for EMTCT of HIV, syphilis and HBV. Data of HIV, syphilis and HBV infections among pregnant women and children (born in the Netherlands with congenital infection) for 2009-2015, and data required to validate the WHO criteria were collected from multiple sources: the antenatal screening registry, the HIV monitoring foundation database, the Perinatal Registry of the Netherlands, the national reference laboratory for congenital syphilis, and national HBV notification data. Screening coverage among pregnant women was > 99% for all years, and prevalence of HIV, syphilis and HBV was very low. In 2015, prevalence of HIV, syphilis and HBV was 0.06, 0.06 and 0.29%, respectively. No infections among children born in the Netherlands were reported in 2015 for all three diseases, and in previous years only sporadic cases were observed In 2015, treatment of HIV positive pregnant women was 100% and HBV vaccination of children from HBV positive mothers was > 99%. For syphilis, comprehensive data was lacking to validate WHO criteria. In the Netherlands, prevalence of maternal HIV, syphilis and HBV is low and congenital infections are extremely rare. All minimum WHO criteria for validation of EMTCT are met for HIV and HBV, but for syphilis more data are needed to prove elimination.
    • Screening for HIV, hepatitis B and syphilis on dried blood spots: A promising method to better reach hidden high-risk populations with self-collected sampling.

      van Loo, Inge H M; Dukers-Muijrers, Nicole H T M; Heuts, Rosalie; van der Sande, Marianne A B; Hoebe, Christian J P A (2017)
      Many people at high risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), e.g., men who have sex with men (MSM), are not optimally reached by current sexual health care systems with testing. To facilitate testing by home-based sampling or sampling in outreach setting we evaluated dried blood spots (DBS), a method for self-collected blood sampling for serological screening of HIV, hepatitis B (HBV) and syphilis. The aims of this study were to assess the acceptability and feasibility of self-collected DBS and to compare the test results for screening of HIV, HBV and syphilis from DBS with blood drawn by venous puncture.