An HIV Epidemic is forecasted to return.
The World Health Organization reports a rise in the resistance to HIV drugs.
The alarming statistics display that in 6 out of 11 countries surveyed in Asia, Latin America and Africa, over ten percent of people starting antiretroviral therapy had a strain of HIV that was resistant to the most widely used HIV medicines. The WHO (World Health Organization) is now calling for an urgent review of HIV treatment programs.
How does drug resistance develop?
HIV drug resistance happens when people do not follow their prescribed treatment plan. Not having access to quality care will prompt someone to not follow their treatment plan. Patients who start to have drug resistance will fail therapy and can pass that strain of drug resistant HIV to others. People with drug resistant strains of HIV will result in an increase in HIV levels in their blood. The solution is a new treatment regimen which can be very hard to obtain for people who are in third world countries.
This may prove to be a return of the HIV epidemic. In the next five years HIV drug resistance can run up a bill of millions of dollars, claim 135,000 more lives and infect 105,000 additional people. This may be inevitable if nothing is attempted to prevent the situation.
HIV Drug Resistance will also ravage the Transgender community contributing to the return of the HIV epidemic.
Transgender women were born as male gender stated on their birth certificates and identify now as women. They are said to be at a very high risk of HIV acquisition. A study by the National Institute of Health and Gilead Science reports that among transgender women infected with HIV in Los Angeles, half of them were concerned about taking their HIV medication and hormone therapy at the same time. The reason they have concerns with taking Antiretroviral therapy for HIV and feminizing hormone therapy for their transition to female is that the drug interaction can be harmful. Why this interaction is harmful remains a mystery in the medical community. This concern may be prompting these individuals from taking the HIV medications or the hormone therapy, or both.
As discussed earlier in this article, the interruption of antiretroviral medication for HIV can make the HIV in the infected person HIV drug resistant and at a higher risk of spreading the disease. The center for disease control states that transgender women are at a very high risk of contracting the HIV virus. Twenty two percent of transgender women surveyed in five high income countries were living with HIV.
These are two deadly situations occurring at the same time. It spells trouble for the goal of trying to eradicate HIV by 2030. This can be an epidemic.
Between the unfortunate in third world countries who are not able to keep up with their regimen and the transgender communities adversities of bodily pain when combining hormones and HIV meds, there can be a surge of HIV strains that are drug resistant. When you couple that with the other possibility of this resistant strain being passed on to other people, it’s just ingredients for epidemic soup.
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