Expansion of Viral Load Testing and the Potential Impact on HIV Drug Resistance

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Abstract

The US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) supports aggressive scale-up of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in high-burden countries and across all genders and populations at risk toward global human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemic control. PEPFAR recognizes the risk of HIV drug resistance (HIVDR) as a consequence of aggressive ART scale-up and is actively promoting 3 key steps to mitigate the impact of HIVDR: (1) routine access to routine viral load monitoring in all settings; (2) optimization of ART regimens; and (3) routine collection and analysis of HIVDR data to monitor the success of mitigation strategies. The transition to dolutegravir-based regimens in PEPFAR-supported countries and the continuous evolution of HIVDR surveillance strategies are essential elements of PEPFAR implementation.

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