Author(s): Lessells RJ, Avalos A, de Oliveira T, Lessells RJ, Avalos A, de Oliveira T
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Abstract Tremendous progress has been made with the scale-up of antiretroviral therapy in Africa, with an estimated seven million people now receiving antiretroviral therapy in the region. The long-term success of antiretroviral therapy programs depends on appropriate strategies to deal with potential threats, one of which is the emergence and spread of antiretroviral drug resistance. Whilst public health surveillance forms the mainstay of the World Health Organization approach to antiretroviral drug resistance, there is likely to be increasing demand for access to drug resistance testing as programs mature and as HIV clinical management becomes more complex. African-owned research initiatives have helped to develop affordable resistance testing appropriate for use in the region, and have developed delivery models for resistance testing at different levels of the public health system. Some upper-middle-income countries such as Botswana and South Africa have introduced drug resistance testing for selected patient groups to guide clinical management. The scale-up of resistance testing will require substantial expansion of clinical and laboratory capacity in the region, but the expertise and resources exist in Africa to support this. The long-term population health impact and cost-effectiveness of resistance testing in the region will also require further investigation.
This article was published in AIDS Rev
and referenced in Journal of AIDS & Clinical Research