January 4, 2010
Ten years ago, drug-resistant HIV affected 1-5 percent of HIV/AIDS patients worldwide. In Sub-Saharan Africa, where few patients had access to antiretrovirals (ARVs) a decade ago, resistance rates have climbed to about 5 percent in the past few years. Since many physicians and clinics do not track resistance, the proportion could be even higher.
The UN's estimate of $25 billion needed to fight AIDS in 2010 does not account for treating resistant strains, which could push the sum up to $44 billion. Donors will probably come up with only half of the lower sum, nevertheless.
"For the first two or three years I was not seeing it. It was rare," said Dr. Theresa Rossouw of the Tshwane District Hospital's HIV clinic, which treats 5,000 patients. "Now it is really daily. I think in the next five years, we are going to have such a need."
12.30.2009; Margie Mason; Martha Mendoza
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