Raph Hamers recently presented the latest research findings from the PharmAccess African Studies to Evaluate Resistance (PASER) network at the prestigious 19th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic infections (CROI) in Seattle, USA. The Conference is a meeting of the world’s leading researchers working to understand, prevent, and treat HIV/AIDS and its complications. The goal of CROI is to provide a forum for translating laboratory and clinical research into progress against the AIDS epidemic. Over 4,000 leading researchers and clinicians from around the world convene in a different location each year for the Conference, this year Raph Hamers was one of them.
The emergence of HIV drug resistance may limit the benefits of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in sub-Saharan Africa. The PASER-M cohort includes nearly 3,000 HIV-infected patients at thirteen collaborating sites in six African countries. In his oral presentation, Raph Hamers explained that 70% of the participants who experienced therapy failure after the first year of first-line ART carried HIV variants that were drug-resistant to nucleoside (NRTI) and/or non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTI). Nonetheless, despite extensive NRTI resistance at time of switch to protease-inhibitor-based second-line therapy, the PASER study also demonstrated that second-line regimens successfully re-suppressed HIV replication in most patients, and that protease drug-resistance mutations were uncommon.
Our findings underscore the need of accurate diagnosis of therapy failure (using affordable viral-load testing) and the potential gains of expanded availibility of second-line drugs, to ensure continued HIV/AIDS treatment effectiveness in resource-limited countries.
link to conference abstract:http://www.retroconference.org/2012b/Abstracts/44884.htm
link to presentation: http://app2.capitalreach.com/esp1204/servlet/tc?c=10164&cn=retro&s=20481&&dp=player.jsp&e=16627&mediaType=podiumVideo