reports that HIV-positive people in the United Kingdom have
one of the world's highest levels of drug resistance, and
the rate continues to increase. The resulting
reduction in treatment effectiveness represents "a
major clinical and public health problem," according
to the report's authors.
The U.K. Group on
Transmitted HIV Drug Resistance based its research on
2,357 HIV patients from 1996 to 2003. Of these, 335
evidenced some degree of resistance to one or more
anti-HIV drugs. While 257 were resistant to only one
class, 44 were resistant to drugs in two classes, and 34
were resistant to drugs in three classes. This equates
to a resistance rate of 14% for the full study period,
rising to 19% for 2002-2003.
Kingdom's rate of resistance was higher than that in other
industrialized nations. Among HIV patients in the United
States, drug resistance is estimated at 7%. The
resistance rate is 6% for France and 10% elsewhere in
The full report,
titled "Time Trends in Primary Resistance to HIV Drugs
in the United Kingdom: Multicentre Observational Study,"
appears in the British Medical Journal.