Alarming number of infants have drug-resistant HIV — Analysis

HIV drug resistance levels are rising and it is imperative that a new approach be taken. The World Health Organization just released figures that show nearly half of infants with HIV are not responding to treatment.

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According to the latest research from 10 sub-Saharan African countries, almost half of HIV-positive infants are drug-resistant.” Thursday’s report said.

World Health Organization warns that antiretroviral therapies have been effective in controlling HIV. There are 27.5 million individuals currently taking it worldwide. But, there is increasing resistance and countries are approaching the crucial 10% threshold.

According to the report, “routine surveillance” of resistance, along with the search for alternatives, will be the main ways to minimize the transmission of drug-resistant forms of the disease. Only 64% of high-infection countries had developed national plans for HIV prevention, monitoring, and response.

WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus noted that misuse of antimicrobials may be one cause of drug resistance.

Antimicrobials – including antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals, and antiparasitics – are the backbone of modern medicine. However, the misuse and overuse of antimicrobials is threatening the effectiveness of essential medicines. Everyone can play an important role in protecting antimicrobials, and helping to prevent drug resistance,” Ghebreyesus said, as quoted by The Guardian.

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