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Antivir Ther. 2004 Oct;9(5):695-702.

Current patterns in the epidemiology of primary HIV drug resistance in North America and Europe.

Author information

1
Department of Virology, Windeyer Institute, Royal Free and University College Medical School, University College London, London, UK. d.pillay@ucl.ac.uk

Abstract

Despite numerous studies in recent years, it is still difficult to draw general conclusions about the extent to which drug-resistant HIV-1 is transmitted. In addition to the highly stratified nature of primary resistance itself, true epidemiological surveillance has been rare and studies to date have suffered from wide variability in their designs, definitions and datasets. In the absence of consensus standards, this has resulted in a large number of isolated 'snapshots' with little scope for data-pooling and comparison. This brief review examines some of the major confounding factors that restrict the utility of individual studies and prevent the combination of studies to increase statistical power. Despite these limitations, data from North America and Europe lead to the tentative conclusion that transmission rates in these areas have generally fallen or remained stable in the past 2-3 years. However, data for the UK seem to indicate an ongoing rise in the transmission of drug resistance mutations, currently present in up to 20% of new infections. Transmission of resistant HIV represents a clinically important phenomenon, although the scale and relevance are being obscured by methodological variations and non-clinical definitions of resistance. Those of us with an interest in the epidemiology of drug resistance, whether in primary transmission or on-treatment, must learn to speak the same language if we are to establish meaningful correlations between survey datasets and the HIV-infected population as a whole.

PMID:
15535406
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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