Emerging epidemic of transmitted HIV drug resistance in low- and middle-income countries, with highest burden seen in MSM

Published: October 28, 2014

Michael Carter
Original Article:  bit.ly/1oUdjSz

Prevalence of transmitted drug-resistant HIV has doubled in low- and middle-income countries in recent years, results of a meta-analysis published in AIDS show. Between 2004-08 and 2009-13, rates of transmitted resistance increased markedly in all key populations in these settings.

The increase coincides with the expanded roll-out of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in resource-limited settings; however testing for drug resistance before the initiation of therapy is rare.

“The scale-up of ARV [antiretroviral] use should be accompanied by cost-effective assays for early detection of virologic failure, surveillance of TDR [transmitted drug resistance] and GART [genotypic antiretroviral resistance testing] for individual patient management,” comment the authors of an editorial.

It is possible for HIV to become resistant to the drugs used in its treatment and drug-resistant strains of virus can be transmitted.

There is some evidence that rates of transmitted drug resistance are stabilising in richer countries. This is due to improvements in care – such as the routine use of sensitive resistance tests to help select ART combinations and regular viral load monitoring – and the introduction of more powerful anti-HIV drugs that are active against drug-resistant strains of the virus.

Full text of article available at link below:  bit.ly/1oUdjSz

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