UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Prevalence and Correlates of Pre-Treatment HIV Drug Resistance among HIV-Infected Children in Ethiopia Tadesse, Birkneh Tilahun; Tsai, Olivia; Chala, Adugna; Chaka, Tolossa Eticha; Eromo, Temesgen; Lapointe, Hope R.; Baraki, Bemuluyigza; Shahid, Aniqa; Tadesse, Sintayehu; Makonnen, Eyasu; et al.


Pediatric human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) care in resource-limited settings remains a major challenge to achieving global HIV treatment and virologic suppression targets, in part because the administration of combination antiretroviral therapies (cART) is inherently complex in this population and because viral load and drug resistance genotyping are not routinely available in these settings. Children may also be at elevated risk of transmission of drug-resistant HIV as a result of suboptimal antiretroviral administration for prevention of mother-to-child transmission. We investigated the prevalence and the correlates of pretreatment HIV drug resistance (PDR) among HIV-infected, cART-naive children in Ethiopia. We observed an overall PDR rate of 14%, where all cases featured resistance to non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs): ~9% of participants harbored resistance solely to NNRTIs while ~5% harbored resistance to both NNRTIs and nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs). No resistance to protease inhibitors was observed. No sociodemographic or clinical parameters were significantly associated with PDR, though limited statistical power is noted. The relatively high (14%) rate of NNRTI resistance in cART-naive children supports the use of non-NNRTI-based regimens in first-line pediatric treatment in Ethiopia and underscores the urgent need for access to additional antiretroviral classes in resource-limited settings.

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