HIV codiscoverer urges caution in drug treatment initiatives
Robert Gallo, the codiscoverer of HIV and director of the Institute of Human Virology, on Monday at the International AIDS Society Conference on Pathogenesis and Treatment in Paris warned that proper medical infrastructure in developing nations must be developed before embarking on widespread antiretroviral treatment programs. "Obviously it is critical to get available drugs to developing nations as quickly as possible, but not just to throw this at them," Gallo told Reuters Health. "We've got to have infrastructure created at the same time because we are going to create multi-drug resistant mutants if we don't." He predicted that drug-resistant strains of HIV could emerge in developing nations within two to five years if treatment programs are not run properly and if those receiving antiretroviral medications don't rigidly adhere to their anti-HIV drug regimens.