For now the HIV prevention pill‚ Truvada‚ is only licensed for adult preventative use internationally. This was said at the recent scientific Aids conference in Paris, France.
In Zimbabwe Truvada is used for treatment in people living with HIV.
In neighbouring South Africa a trial tested Truvada in teens aged 15 to 19 in Johannesburg and Cape Town. The study included 99 girls and 49 boys. The trial showed it was safe for teenagers to use Truvada with minimal side effects.
Some drugs have side effects outweighing benefits. When this occurs the drug is phased out. One such drug an anti-HIV pill stalanev has been phased out.
People who used Stalanev ended up with uneven fat deposits. There was also thinning out on the face and legs.
There were some reported cases of drug resistance in people using Stalanev. Stalanev consisted of Nevirapine
Countries are being warned against the increasing trend of resistance to HIV drugs, in a new WHO HIV Drug Resistance Report 2017 co-authored by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. The report said two out of 30 positive people on ARVs in Zimbabwe have shown signs of resistance to commonly used and affordable drugs Efavirenz and Nevirapine.
Resistance can develop when there is inconsistent drug use leading to treatment failure.
“Anti-microbial drug resistance is a growing challenge to global health and sustainable development,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of WHO in a recent statement.
“We need to proactively address the rising levels of resistance to HIV drugs if we are to achieve the global target of ending Aids by 2030,” the doctor said.
HIV is becoming resistant to drugs used and this is called anti-microbial resistance.
Other diseases that have been noted to have drug resistance include malaria, sexually transmitted infections, influenza, tuberculosis and malaria.
HIV mutates, meaning it replicates and multiples when drug resistance is noted.
HIV drug resistance leads to treatment failure and spread of the virus.
When drug resistance is noted the virus is no longer suppressed.
Drug resistance testing is needed in all people taking anti-HIV medication.