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Monday, December 1, 2014

December 1 - World HIV Day. Good programme management resulted in manageable anti-HIV drug resistance.

Contributed by: Dr. Akilesh & Dr. Tamhankar

world-aids-day-2014December 1 is celebrated by NGOs, governments and other associations as the World AIDS Day. On this day, let's talk about the issues of drug resistance to anti-retroviral drugs and how good programme management has resulted in manageable drug resistance. When HIV treatment was first introduced in 1990s in well developed countries, there was a rapid spread of resistance.

By 2010, the amount of HIV that was resistant to ARVs among people initiating treatment in the areas surveyed for the report, stood at 6.8%. - WHO Media Report

Good programme management and antiretrovirals has minimized drug resistance
  1. Use of simpler, more effective combinations of antiretrovirals
  2. Simpler regimens using fixed-dose combinations
“Our task now is to ensure that drug resistance remains limited and manageable.” - Dr Gottfried Hirnschall, Director of WHO’s HIV department. 
Some degree of HIV drug resistance is expected but can be minimized as most cases of drug resistance are caused by preventable factors!

Preventable factors
  1. Treatment interruptions - better tracing and follow up techniques required
  2. Medicines taken incorrectly - fixed drug dose combinations can ensure compliance and ease of taking the drugs
“We need to make sure that people get the right medicines and that they stick to their treatment. This includes making sure that the drugs are easy to take, the supply is reliable, and that patients are followed closely to identify cases of treatment failure at an early stage,” says Dr Joseph PerrĂ¯ens, of WHO’s HIV Department.
The most serious threat to mangaement of HIV infection is the "loss of contact". Most of these people who start taking antiretroviral drugs break their treatment. They are themselves likely to become sick and also increases the chance that drug resistance will emerge. This increases risk of transmission of drug resistance to others as well.

Be aware of HIV. Spread awareness about HIV. To read WHO report on Drug Resistance in HIV - Click Here