CD4 Test and Viral Load is Not Enough, HIV Patients Need Resistance Test

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Illustration by Feri Fenoria

UNAIR NEWS – Not only Bali, but Riau Islands is also one of the tourist destinations in Indonesia, which is crowded with tourists. Over time, the incidence of HIV-1 in the area has also increased.

Therefore, research on HIV-1 infection is essential by working on research about the distribution of HIV-1 subtypes and their resistance.

Siti Qamariyah Khairunisa, S.Si., M.Si, or Ria, a member of HIV-1 / AIDS research team from Institute of Tropical Disease (ITD) UNAIR explained that in Riau Islands the CRF01_AE subtype predominant was 55.6 percent. They also found subtype B by 15.6 percent, recombination subtype CRF01_AE and subtype B by 17.8 percent, and recombination of other subtypes with CRF02_AG subtype by 11.1 percent.

“The CRF01_AE subtype itself is the dominant strain in Indonesia and ASEAN,” said Ria.

Information related to the subtype was obtained from the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique method. Then proceed with the analysis using DNA sequencing techniques or DNA sequencing.

“The genetic material information obtained is matched to genetic material data in Genbank to find out subtype,” she continued

Meanwhile, there are also almost no HIV patients who experience resistance in Riau. Thus, the method of therapy provided is still effective.

The benefits of having data related to resistance are helping doctors to provide therapy under the patient’s condition. Besides, with a resistance check, at least the patient knows the treatment received is suitable or not.

“Because if the patient is resistant, then the doctor should change therapy,” said Ria.

For the government, health care institutions will not only apply CD4 tests and viral load tests for HIV-indicated patients. But it also involves a resistance test so the therapy can run effectively.

“Our method has also been established and expected to be applied in Indonesia. Even though HIV has no cure yet, at least with the right therapy, it can extend the patient life, ” she concluded.

Author: Galuh Mega Kurnia

Editor : Khefti Al Mawalia

Reference : Khairunisa, S. Q. et al., 2018. Genotypic Characterization of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Prevalent in Kepulauan Riau, Indonesia. AIDS RESEARCH AND HUMAN RETROVIRUSES, 34(6), pp. 555-560.

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