UNAIR NEWS – Ni Luh Ayu Megasariata, one of the researchers at the Institute of Tropical Disease (ITD) UNAIR continues to observe HIV / AIDS in North Bali. She had previously researched ARV resistance in patients who had been given treatment by a doctor. This time, she and her team conducted a study of patients who had not received ARV treatment (Naive Patients).
“In this study, it was found that 16% of patients had antiretroviral resistance, which is much higher than in previous studies. So even though we have never been able to get therapy, there is already resistance to ARVs, “he explained.
Based on WHO categorization, the prevalence of HIV antiretroviral resistance of more than 15% falls into the high category. Thus, clinicians must be careful in giving ARVs to their patients.
Based on the theory, the cause of naïve HIV patients experiencing ARV resistance was because the patient had previously been infected with HIV patients who had ARV resistance. The average transmission occurs through sexual contact.
“If a patient experiences resistance, the results of ARVs cannot be as expected,” she continued.
Typically, ARVs can reduce the amount of virus in three to six months and the patient’s condition improves. A patient should take a viral load test to show whether they experience ARV resistance or not.
With these results, the government can declare a new policy for HIV patients. Not only CD4 cell counts and viral load tests but also resistance tests.
“Hopefully, it can be included in BPJS or other health insurance. Thus, patients and medical team can get more supporting data in order to provide good treatment, ” she concluded.
Author: Galuh Mega Kurnia
Editor: Nuri Hermawan
Reference : Megasari, N. L. A. et al., 2019. The Emergence of HIV-1 Transmitted Drug Resistance Mutations Among Antiretroviral Therapy-naive Individuals in Buleleng, Bali, Indonesia. The Indonesian Journal of Internal Medicine, 51(3).