World Health Organization briefing on HIV Drug Resistance
A joint meeting with the WHO, STOPAIDS and Equal International
Today, Wednesday 5 April, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on HIV & AIDS (APPG) welcomed the World Health Organization (WHO) to Parliament in an event co-hosted by STOPAIDS and Equal International. The briefing meeting was related to the growing levels of HIV drug resistance, its causes and its potential impact on countries’ abilities to meet the UNAIDS target of eliminating AIDS by 2030.
Since the last WHO HIV drug resistance global report in 2012 an increased number of reports from low and middle income countries have shown elevated levels of resistance to first line anti-retroviral therapy (ART) – recent representative samples show levels of resistance prior to treatment initiation at or above 10%.
Drug resistance in HIV hinders viral suppression, and modelling estimates suggest that when pre-treatment drug resistance is above 10% in sub-Saharan African Fast-Track countries, 480,000 new HIV infections, an excess of 890,000 deaths and US$6.5 billion additional ART costs could be attributable to resistance between 2015-2030.
Chairing the event, Baroness Sheehan, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for International Development, praised the work of the APPG on HIV & AIDS and its external supporters and noted ‘the damage caused by HIV drug resistance both now and in the future is only beginning to be recognised and this event is a timely reminder that access to medicines in low and middle-income countries should be a priority for all. HIV drug resistance is a major concern, not just because of the impact it can have on the health of an individual living with HIV, but also because of its wider implications for the cost of expanding treatment to meet the UNAIDS 90:90:90 target and the SDG target of eliminating AIDS by 2030.’