Alarming surge in drug-resistant HIV uncovered
The drug-resistant form of the virus has been detected at unacceptable levels across Africa, Asia and the Americas
Health authorities have uncovered an alarming surge in resistance to crucial HIV drugs. Surveys by the World Health Organization (WHO) reveal that, in the past 4 years, 12 countries in Africa, Asia and the Americas have surpassed acceptable levels of drug resistance against two drugs that constitute the backbone of HIV treatment: efavirenz and nevirapine.
Overall, 12% of women surveyed had a drug-resistant form of HIV, compared with 8% of men.
Particularly concerning, says the report, is the high level of resistance in infants with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa. Between 2012 and 2018, about one-half of newly diagnosed infants in nine of the countries in this region had a form of HIV that was resistant to efavirenz, nevirapine or both.
The prevalence of resistance in people who restarted efavirenz and nevirapine after interrupting treatment was much higher (21%) than in first-time users (8%).
HIFA profile: Eileen McGinn is a Consultant in USA. qedeileen AT aol.com