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WHO RELEASES HIV DRUG RESISTANCE REPORT 2021


  1. The World Health Organization report on HIV Drug resistance has revealed that an increasing number of countries are reaching the 10% threshold of pretreatment HIV drug resistance (PDR) HIV drug resistance to non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTI).

The report gives an in-depth picture of the extent to which drug resistance is growing, and the steps that countries are taking to ensure people will receive effective medicine to treat and prevent HIV.

The report reveals that in 2020, 64% of focus countries (countries with a high burden of HIV infection) had national action plans to prevent, monitor and respond to HIV drug resistance.

Based on the most recent findings from surveys conducted in 10 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, nearly half of infants newly diagnosed with HIV carry drug-resistant HIV before initiating treatment.

These findings highlight the need to accelerate the ongoing transition and importance of using dolutegravir-based antiretroviral therapy in young children as early as possible.

The WHO says Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is an effective prevention option for HIV-negative individuals at substantial risk of HIV infection as part of combination prevention approaches.


However, Resistance is most likely to occur when PrEP is started in the setting of undiagnosed acute HIV infection.

The WHO encourages countries implementing PrEP to prevent HIV infection, to make sure is is accompanied by surveillance of HIV drug resistance in people who become infected despite use of PrEP.

The report indicates that the number of countries achieving high levels of viral suppression increased from 33% in 2017 to 80% in 2020.

The report also emphasizes the need for routine viral load monitoring and close follow-up of individuals with viral non-suppression, including regimen switch if indicated, to achieve favourable and sustained long term treatment outcomes.

As the current Global Action Plan on HIV Drug Resistance 2017–2021 draws to a close, the report recommends future global, national and country efforts to identify ongoing opportunities to prevent, monitor and respond to HIV drug resistance including adapting to the rapidly evolving treatment landscape and new service delivery models.

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