Alarming surge in drug-resistant HIV

31 July, 2019

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

Some excerpts:

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