Researchers find scores of untreatable HIV patients in Kenya

By RS Writer

Medical researchers have identified a growing group of HIV positive Kenyans no longer treatable with available antiretroviral drugs in the country.

Using a nationwide sample, the team investigated patients who had developed resistance to the second line ARVs.

The researchers from the Ministry of Health, Kenya Medical Research Institute, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Kisumu, and the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands report up to a quarter of these patients are untreatable with available medicines.

“Our study indicates that nearly one in four patients in Kenya failing second-line treatment has complete exhaustion to available antiretrovirals,” says the study published last on 10th April 2017 in the journal Aids.

Ministry of Health statistics indicate of the 900,000 Kenyans on ARVs about 180,000 are taking second line drugs.

A survey carried out by the Kenya Medical Research Institute in 2014 estimated about 30 per cent of patients on second line ARVs in Nairobi had developed resistance.

Further analysis of various HIV data sets shows the number of patients who may have become untreatable, could be about 13,000.

But this could have serious financial implications because WHO-recommended third-line drugs are prohibitively expensive with costs nearly 6-14 times higher than the current first- and second-line regimens.

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