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Study Shows Prevalence of Drug-Resistant HIV Strains in Uganda Rising, Among Highest in Sub-Saharan Africa

May 23, 2012

"The prevalence of drug-resistant HIV strains in Uganda has risen from 8.6 percent to 12 percent in the last five years, one of the highest rates in sub-Saharan Africa, according to a recent study," PlusNews reports. "The PharmAccess African Studies to Evaluate Resistance (PASER) monitoring cohort study report for 2008-2012" -- "which was based on results from the capital, Kampala, the western town of Fort Portal, and the eastern town of Mbale" -- "found that the prevalence of transmitted drug resistance among people who have never taken life-prolonging antiretroviral (ARV) medication was substantially higher in Uganda" than in Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, the news service writes.

"According to the study, the overall drug resistance in patients starting on first-line treatment in the six PASER countries stands at 5.6 percent," the news service writes, noting, "ARVs were available at least five years earlier in Uganda than in the five other PASER countries ... where drug resistance was estimated at five percent in selected areas of those countries." PlusNews adds, "The report revealed that poor treatment adherence to ARVs, shortage of health professionals, limited training, deficient adherence counseling, inconsistent drug supply and weak enforcement of quality standards were among the causes of HIV drug resistance" (5/22).

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