HIV becoming resistant to key drug, study finds

02:05 AM 2016

As per to Agencies, in some parts of the world, more than half of people who continued to have uncontrolled HIV despite treatment turned out to have a form of the virus that is resistant to the drug tenofovir, researchers report in The Lancet Infectious Diseases. The new study suggests treatment and monitoring of HIV patients around the world needs to be improved, and surveillance also needs to be increased, said senior author Dr. Ravi Gupta, of University College London.

Tenofovir which has been used is the drug of choice when it comes to treating and preventing human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The drug can also be used to treat hepatitis B." If you develop resistance to that, it’s a very large loss," said study author Dr. Robert Shafer, of Stanford University in California. "The availability of second-line drugs is increasing, but they’re quite a bit more expensive and have more side effects associated with them," Gupta told Reuters Health.

For the new study, the researchers used data from 1,926 people in 36 countries who continued to have uncontrolled HIV despite simultaneous treatment with an assortment of drugs that included tenofovir. The proportion of people with tenofovir-resistant HIV ranged from 20 percent in Europe to over 50 percent in sub-Saharan Africa.

In addition, people taking a drug called lamivudine were also about 50 percent more likely to have resistance than those taking a similar drug known as emtricitabine. However, their estimates suggest that under current circumstances, about 8 percent to 18 percent of patients in sub-Saharan Africa who receive tenofovir plus efavirenz will develop resistance in the first year of treatment. The findings highlight the need for better surveillance of drug resistance in patients with HIV, they write.

Source: Agencies.


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