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Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2009 Jun;103(6):607-12. doi: 10.1016/j.trstmh.2008.07.014. Epub 2008 Sep 18.

Viraemia and HIV-1 drug resistance mutations among patients receiving antiretroviral treatment in Mozambique.

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  • 1Médecins sans Frontières, Maputo, Mozambique.


This study was conducted among individuals taking first-line antiretroviral treatment (ART) for at least 12 months under programme conditions in Maputo, Mozambique in order to report on the level of detectable viraemia and the proportion and types of drug resistance mutations among those with detectable viral loads. HIV-1 RNA viral load levels (lower detection limit <50 copies/ml) were measured, and resistance mutations were sequenced. One hundred and forty-nine consecutive patients (69% females, median age 36 years) were included after a mean follow-up time of 23 months. One hundred and seven (72%; 95% CI 64-79) had undetectable viral load, while in 42 (28%, 95% CI 21-36) viral load was detectable (range 50-58884 copies/ml). From 15 patients with viral load >1000 copies/ml, 12 viruses were sequenced: eight were C subtypes and four were circulating recombinant forms (CRF08). Eight (5%; 95% CI 2-9) patients with detectable viral load had one or more major resistance mutations. Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI) and non-NRTI mutations were observed. There were no major mutations for resistance to protease inhibitors. In Maputo, the level of detectable viraemia is reassuringly low. While embarking on ART scale-up, wider surveillance is warranted to monitor programme quality and limit the development of drug resistance, which remains a major potential challenge for the future of ART in Africa.

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