New report on HIV drug resistance: Challenges and suggestions



The World Well being Group’s (WHO) newest HIV Drug Resistance (HIVDR) Report tells us the place drug resistance is rising and affords suggestions for international locations to watch and reply to the potential challenges.

The report shares some excellent news and a few regarding information. It highlights excessive ranges of HIV viral load suppression (>90%) in populations receiving dolutegravir (DTG)-containing antiretroviral remedy (ART). Nonetheless, observational and country-generated survey knowledge point out that ranges of HIVDR to DTG are exceeding ranges noticed in scientific trials.

Since 2018, WHO has beneficial use of dolutegravir as the popular first- and second-line HIV remedy for all inhabitants teams. It’s simpler, simpler to take, and has fewer unwanted effects than different medication presently in use. It additionally has a excessive genetic barrier to creating drug resistance.

Nonetheless, among the many 4 surveys reported, ranges of resistance to dolutegravir ranged from 3.9% to eight.6%, and reached 19.6% amongst folks skilled with remedy and transitioned to a DTG-containing ART whereas having excessive HIV viral masses. So far, just a few international locations have reported survey knowledge to WHO.

The worrying proof of resistance in people with unsuppressed viral load regardless of dolutegravir remedy underscores the need for elevated vigilance and intensified efforts to optimize the standard of HIV care supply. Standardized surveillance of HIV drug resistance is crucial for successfully stopping, monitoring, and responding to those challenges”.


Dr. Meg Doherty, Director, WHO Division of the World HIV, Hepatitis and STI Programmes

Haiti was the one nation to report knowledge from a survey of HIVDR amongst ART naïve infants or infants beginning ART for the primary time. One toddler, whose mom had obtained DTG-based ART, was discovered to have DTG resistance. Efficient administration of excessive viral masses amongst pregnant and breastfeeding girls is vital to forestall transmitting HIV to infants. Rising routine surveillance for HIVDR amongst infants newly identified with HIV not but taking HIV remedy might be necessary to information acceptable ART choices for the longer term.

World targets off observe

In 2022, greater than 75% of the 39 million folks dwelling with HIV globally have been receiving HIV remedy. Nations have applied the WHO suggestions with 116 of 127 having adopted WHO most popular first-line DTG-based remedy for adults and adolescents, and 74% of reporting low- and middle-income international locations adopted viral load monitoring for adults and adolescents.

However progress in the direction of the SDG targets has stalled as there have been nonetheless an estimated 1.3 million new HIV infections and 630 000 deaths from HIV-related causes. Between 2017 and 2022, for many international locations reporting via the World AIDS Monitoring (GAM) system, programmatic high quality indicators for HIV remedy didn’t obtain established international targets, which additional highlights the necessity to proactively enhance the standard of HIV remedy and care providers.

In 2022, solely 12 of 45 WHO focus international locations reported conducting surveys or had built-in the monitoring of HIVDR early warning indicators into routine monitoring and analysis programs. Many international locations proceed to overlook the mark in relation to optimizing retention in care, population-level viral load suppression, and switching folks with virological failure to totally different regimens. Moreover, antiretroviral drug stock-outs proceed to occur which can negatively affect affected person remedy adherence.

WHO recommends that international locations routinely implement standardized surveillance of HIVDR to observe the prevalence and patterns of resistance amongst folks not reaching suppressed viral load. That is vital, as data and knowledge from surveys affect the event of remedy tips and inform the standard of remedy programmes.

Beneficial steerage for nation motion

The report additionally paperwork circumstances of resistance to integrase-strand switch inhibitors (INSTIs) after latest publicity to cabotegravir (CAB-LA). Delayed detection and affirmation of HIV an infection can enhance the chance of creating resistance to INSTIs. Since 2022, WHO has beneficial the usage of long-acting injectable CAB-LA as an extra HIV prevention choice for folks at substantial danger of HIV an infection.

Regardless of the potential danger, WHO recommends the roll-out of CAB-LA for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and requires the scale-up of PrEP to be accompanied by standardized surveillance of drug resistance amongst folks testing constructive for HIV whereas receiving PrEP.

Routine monitoring of quality-of-care indicators at each clinic and nationwide ranges, adopted by addressing any suboptimal efficiency, stays a cornerstone for the success of ART programmes. Key quality-of-care indicators embody on-time ART pick-up, retention on ART, viral load testing protection, well timed second-viral load take a look at, ARV drug stock-outs and well timed change to second-line ART.

The brand new HIVDR report emphasizes the significance of strengthening knowledge reporting programs in order that international locations can successfully monitor and report quality-of-care indicators. It underscores the lively engagement by ART clinics and programmes in use of indicator knowledge to develop regionally acceptable and sustainable options. These efforts are essential for optimizing service supply high quality, thereby decreasing the emergence of drug-resistant HIV.

Minimizing the unfold of HIV drug resistance is a vital a part of the broader international response to antimicrobial resistance that wants coordinated motion throughout all authorities sectors and ranges of society.

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