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To Prevent Drug-Resistant HIV, World Needs To Strengthen Antiretroviral Drug Delivery Systems, Patient Adherence

The Guardian: How to combat the threat of HIV drug resistance
Steven Hong, assistant professor at Tufts University

“…Globally, HIV drug resistance is on the rise. … We must act now to help people adhere to their treatment plans, before it’s too late. … Drug resistance will rise when [antiretroviral treatment (ART)] is not delivered in a well thought-out way. That requires strong drug supply systems with zero tolerance for an interruption of ART drug supply, strong and locally appropriate counseling to promote adherence, support for patients who don’t have the resources to access care, re-engagement of patients who have stopped going to the clinics, alternative ways to deliver care such as community-based ART groups, and strong medical record systems. As we strive to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030, greater attention must be focused on identifying and correcting gaps in the quality of ART service delivery. Many lives depend on it and the time to act is now. If we don’t, we may find ourselves with a new global pandemic of drug-resistant HIV and be faced with a deadlier enemy than we started with” (8/11).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.