Drug resistant HIV ’spreads between people without anti-retroviral treatment’

March 30th, 2009 - 5:56 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Mar 30 (ANI): A professor from University College, London has said that drug-resistant forms of HIV can be spread between individuals who have not received anti-retroviral treatment.

Professor Deenan Pillay from University College, London and the Health Protection Agency highlighted the finding while speaking at the Society for General Microbiology meeting at Harrogate.

Anti-retroviral therapy is a major advance in the treatment of HIV and there are currently over 25 drugs available.

Scientists already know that the virus can mutate, reducing its susceptibility to treatment, and that these resistant viruses can be transmitted between individuals.

Pillay found that drug resistant viruses could also circulate between individuals who have not received antiretroviral drugs treatments.

“Our findings show that assuming that drug resistant HIV was only passed on from individuals receiving drug treatment may mean the number and size of the reservoirs of drug resistant virus in the United Kingdom has been underestimated,” said Pillay.

He added: “Our results indicate that although the incidence of drug resistance has been declining, this might not continue - which could have implications for planning and management of treatment programmes”. (ANI)

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