New Treatments and Resistance to Antiretrovirals

New treatments and resistance to antiretrovirals

The large-scale distribution of antiretrovirals, along with the use of simplified and standardized protocols, has meant that antiretroviral treatment was administered to 16 million people worldwide in 2015, an increase of 85% over the numbers for 2010. However, those 16 million represent a mere 45% of all people who need treatment. 

The 90-90-90 strategy

The HIV epidemic could be brought fully under control in a few decades if at least 90% of HIV-positive people in the world knew their status, 90% were incorporated in the healthcare system and 90% were treated effectively. For this reason, the World Health Organization (WHO) and other international health bodies have declared their decision to treat all persons infected with HIV via this 90-90-90 strategy. This requires a significant increase in early diagnosis of the infection and mass access to antiretrovirals, sometimes in very difficult healthcare scenarios.

More drug-resistant viruses

As more people are treated, the number of drug-resistant viruses is also increasing. In some countries, 15% of people infected with HIV are infected with a resistant virus. This increasing trend greatly limits the effectiveness of drugs. It is therefore a matter of urgency to reduce the development of resistance to drugs, most especially in lower income countries. 

IrsiCaixa studies resistance to antiretrovirals through basic research, technological developments (more accurate and more affordable resistance detection tools), participation in clinical trials of the more powerful drugs and participation in public health initiatives worldwide. 

In relation to public health, IrsiCaixa participates in WHO ResNet HIV, a global network to advise WHO on the control and surveillance of HIV drug resistance that is currently developing the Global Action Plan for HIV Drug Resistance. IrsiCaixa also forms part of the drug resistance advisory group of the US National Institutes of Health. 

IrsiCaixa also conducts integrated and collaborative research with national and international centres, particularly in southern Africa and Latin America.



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Irsi Caixa

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