Starfish Info
Home
The Starfish Story
Donations
Sponsors
Board of Advisors
HonoUr U
News
Association By-Laws
In the Open
Contacts
   
 
   
Starfish Projects
Autographed Items
Slow Onset Disaster
Dance4HIV
Initiatives
Events with Rutger
   
  
   
HIV/AIDS Info
What is HIV/AIDS
4 Kidz Only
News
Day out of Days
   
 
   
LINKS
Our Friends
Rutger's Website
   
   

Widespread 'Test-And-Treat' HIV Policies Could Increase Dangerous Drug Resistance
University of Southern California / ScienceDaily
March 18, 2013


One of the most widely advocated strategies for dealing with HIV/AIDS could double the number of multi-drug-resistant HIV cases in the population of men who have sex with men (MSM) in LA County over the next 10 years, cautions a new study.

In the United States, LA County has the largest incident population of HIV positive individuals.

The so-called "test and treat" policy -- which calls for universal testing for HIV as well as treatment with antiretroviral drugs for even those at the earliest stages of the disease -- is popular because it has been shown to decrease the number of new HIV cases and deaths due to AIDS.

The problem, according to the study, is that such aggressive and widespread use of antiretroviral drugs would also rapidly and dramatically increase the prevalence of multiple-drug-resistant HIV (MDR).

"We're not saying that testing everybody and treating everybody is bad. All we're saying is that you should proceed with caution and closely monitor the prevalence of multi-drug-resistant HIV as you scale up the test and treat model," said lead author Neeraj Sood, associate professor at the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics.

Sood collaborated with Zachary Wagner, also of the USC Schaeffer Center; USC Ph.D. student Emmanuel Drabo; and Raffaele Vardavas and Amber Jaycocks of the RAND Corporation. Their study received advance online publication by Clinical Infectious Diseases on March 13.

Sood and his colleagues studied the MSM population in LA County, which accounts for 82 percent of people living with HIV/AIDS countywide. They tracked how the disease was treated from 2000 to 2009 and how the virus responded.

Using data from the Centers for Disease Control and their own data, the researchers then generated a model of how the disease would respond under a more aggressive "test and treat" policy over the next 10 years.

The model showed the prevalence of MDR jumping from 4.79 percent to 9.06 percent by 2023.

A more cautious approach, Sood suggested, would be simply to aggressively test for the disease but to avoid prescribing antiretroviral drugs to asymptomatic patients. The modeling shows that strategy still making significant gains against HIV/AIDS, without the increase in MDR HIV.

"Prior studies show a dramatic reduction in risk-taking behavior by individuals once they know their HIV-positive status," Sood said.

Back to International News List


 

©Rutger Hauer Starfish Association 1999-2014
Terms of use - Disclaimer