Health authorities find global increase in drug-resistant HIV

Health authorities have discovered a worldwide increase in resistance to HIV drugs, according to Nature.

The World Health Organization surveyed randomly selected clinics in 18 countries from 2014 to 2018 to determine resistance levels among people who had started HIV treatment during that period.

They found over 10 percent of HIV-infected adults from 12 countries in Africa, Asia and the Americas had developed resistance to two drugs used against HIV, efavirenz and nevirapine. It is not considered safe to prescribe more HIV medicines above the 10 percent threshold, as doing so could further increase resistance.

Increased resistance may be due to people interrupting their treatment. More people were resistant when they restarted efavirenz and nevirapine after interrupting treatment, according to the WHO's report. The WHO recommends the affected countries substitute these two drugs with dolutegravir, which is less likely to develop resistance.

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