There is a vast range in outcomes of success at suppressing HIV with antiretroviral (ARV) treatment among people taking the drugs in resource-limited nations, aidsmap reports. Publishing their findings in Clinical Infectious Diseases, an international group of researchers conducted a cross-sectional study between Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Senegal, Togo, Thailand and Vietnam in order to determine the rate of virologic failure and drug resistance mutations (DRMs) among HIV-positive people receiving treatment under the World Health Organization's protocol for both delivery and monitoring of treatment.

Between 2009 and 2011, the investigators recruited 2,060 adults who were attending treatment centers 10 to 14 months after beginning ARVs (called the M12 group) and 1,875 adults in the 22 to 26 month range (the M24 group).

The average rate of virologic failure was 11.1 percent for the M12 group and 12.4 percent for the M24 group. The respective rates of drug-resistant virus among those in the groups who had virologic failure were 71 percent and 86.1 percent for the M12 and M24 group. Virologic failure rates ranged between 2.9 percent and 20.6 percent in the M12 group and 3.7 percent to 26 percent in the M24 group. For the most part, DRMs were linked to ARV regimens, but several of the participants racked up DRMs to drugs they had not received.

The study authors concluded that proper management of ARV programs is “critical to improve treatment outcomes in resource-limited countries.”

To read the aidsmap story, click here.

To read the study abstract, click here.