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The Downside Of HIV Treatment: Does It Increase The Risk Of Drug Resistance?

By Sai , Dec 09, 2016 02:24 AM EST
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Health agencies across the globe have been successful with their various versions of experiment that aims to get more people with HIV on antiretroviral therapy; a therapy which is known to be a combination of drugs that has the ability to suppress the virus to its undetectable levels in the blood and potentially reduce the risk of transmission to another person. However, in their most recent study, scientists have found a disturbing trend which might affect all of these forms of therapy - the rise of HIV drug restraint. Experts have specifically noted countries such as Kenya, Zambia, Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania and South Africa, but have also revealed that it can also happen to other countries.

The Rise Of HIV Drug Restraint, Is It Good Or Bad?

According to reports made by The Health Site, a new study led by an Indian-origin scientist has found that those patients infected with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) strains have allegedly been reported to have developed a resistance to older generation drugs which are also resistant to modern drugs. Authors of the study note that resistance to a certain drug takes place when patients do not take their medication on a regular basis. And for first-line treatments to work, patients generally need to take their medication 85-90 percent of the time.

In July, Huffington Post reports that the World Health Organization has allegedly analyzed the data which was taken from more than 12,000 clinics in 59 countries. Consequently, authorities have found that on average; about 20 percent of people with HIV simply drop out of patient records one year after having the ART treatment and nearly 73 percent of these patients are known to be unable to maintain their treatment, while 36 percent of clinics experienced drug stock-outs which usually happens when a pharmacy simply runs out of drugs.

WHO's Action Plan

Ultimately, it was found that the WHO is reportedly developing a five-year Global Action plan for drug-resistant HIV, which primarily puts highlight on poor to middle-income populations from 2017 through 2021. The organization has already publicized its draft of the said plan, however, authorities are yet to approve it and formally launch the course of action. WHO concludes that there would really be a rise in terms of drug resistance as global efforts to spread ART and preventive HIV treatments around the world are more successful.

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