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The requirement for surveillance of HIV drug resistance within antiretroviral rollout in the developing world

Bennett, Diane E

Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases: December 2006 - Volume 19 - Issue 6 - p 607–614
doi: 10.1097/QCO.0b013e3280109ff1
Antimicrobial agents: viral/parasitic

Purpose of review To describe surveillance measures to inform HIV drug-resistance prevention, as part of the public health approach to antiretroviral therapy in developing countries.

Recent findings Neither HIV drug-resistance transmission nor its emergence in treatment is routinely assessed in the developing world, but routine methods should be part of antiretroviral therapy scale-up. Mathematical modelling and experience in resource-rich countries suggest HIV drug-resistance transmission will increase as antiretroviral therapy coverage increases, but its rise will be limited initially. Transmission surveys should begin in geographic areas in each country where antiretroviral therapy coverage is widespread. Reports from resource-limited countries suggest that antiretroviral therapy programs are as effective as in resource-rich countries, which should limit HIV drug resistance if effectiveness is maintained with antiretroviral therapy expansion. Surveillance of HIV drug resistance emerging in treatment and other factors will support implementation of prevention measures on a population level.

Summary Standardized surveillance of transmitted and treatment-associated HIV drug resistance is critical to the success of antiretroviral therapy expansion in developing countries. Routine assessment of prescribing practices, availability of and access to appropriate regimens for adults and children, antiretroviral drug supply continuity, and measures to prevent HIV transmission will supply critical information for HIV drug-resistance prevention.

Global AIDS Program, National Centre for HIV, STD and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Correspondence to Diane E. Bennett, Global AIDS Program, NCHSTP, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA Tel: +1 41 22 791 5066; e-mail:

The findings and conclusions in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

© 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.