Drug-resistant HIV spreading in Japan

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com April 23 2003 11:00 PM ET

Officials with the International Medical Center of Japan reported last week that drug-resistant HIV infections are on the rise in the country, with about 4% of patients newly infected with the virus carrying HIV resistant to at least one anti-HIV medication, the Tokyo Daily Yomiuri reports. Of 205 patients diagnosed with HIV at the medical center in 2002, eight were infected with drug-resistant strains of the virus, limiting their treatment options before therapy even began.

"The more recently patients were infected with HIV, the higher probability they have of being infected with drug-resistant HIV," said clinic director Setsuko Ida. "We should pay close attention to the trend."

Cases of drug-resistant HIV transmissions have been documented in most Western countries, including the United States.