Drug-resistant HIV 'on increase' in sub-Saharan Africa

Jul 24, 2012, 12:43 PM EDT
Monitoring of patients helps in detecting drug resistance

Studies on 26,000 untreated HIV-positive people in developing countries were reviewed by the team.
They said resistance could build up if people fail to stick to drug regimes, and because monitoring could be poor.
A UK HIV organisation said resistance was a serious problem in Africa where alternative treatments were lacking.
The researchers, from the World Health Organization (WHO) and University College London (UCL) found the most rapid increase in drug resistance occurred in East Africa, at 29% per year. In Southern Africa, it was 14% per year.
There was no change in resistance over time in Latin America and in West and Central Africa.
'Early warning'
Writing in the Lancet, authors Dr Silvia Bertagnolio from the WHO and Dr Ravindra Gupta at UCL said: "Without continued and increased national and international efforts, rising HIV drug resistance could jeopardise a decade-long trend of decreasing HIV/Aids-related illness and death in low- and middle-income countries."