New HIV Guidelines : Experts Examine Ways To Manage Patients

A national virology workshop on strategies against drug resistance ends today at the “Chantal Biya” Research Centre in Yaounde.

Information from the “Chantal Biya” International Reference Centre For Research on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Management (CIRCB), reveals that the national guidelines for the prevention and management of HIV have been revised in Cameroon, with emphasis on strategies for the prevention and control of HIV drug resistance both at the clinic and the programmatic levels. Within this backdrop, a twoday national virology workshop on the new HIV guidelines and strategies against drug resistance ends today at CIRCB in Yaounde. During the opening of the workshop yesterday, November 21, 2019 by the Secretary of State at the Ministry of Public Health in charge of Epidemics and Pandemics, Alim Hayatou, it was revealed that guide lines on HIV treatment are changing; new therapies and evidence are coming up and experts need to know how to properly put patients on treatment.

The chair of the Scientific Council of CIRCB, Professor Carlo-Federico Perno during the workshop said personnel at the different HIV treatment centres in Cameroon need to know how to correctly use the new therapeutic treatment especially as there is an increase in HIV drug resistance especially amongst patients who are born with the virus. According to Prof Perno, this has posed a major problem because this is a virus from another patient who was already on treatment. As such, the first line of treatment will not be effective for a patient born with the virus which was already under treatment. With the significant decline of 50 per cent in HIV prevalence (from 5.4 per cent in 2004 to 2.7 per cent in 2018) and the increasing coverage of antiretroviral thocal realitieserapy throughout the national territory, the risk of HIV drug resistance emergence and transmission become more and more preoccupying.

Within this framework, the Director General of CIRCB, Professor Alexis Ndjolo said the national guidelines will ensure evidence-based translational application of findings generated mainly by CIRCB, for an adequate clinical management of patients based on l, and whose implementation takes into consideration local potentials and programmatic challenges. Participants at the workshop discussed extensively on the importance of the diagnostic tool that can be best used to put patients on treatment from the beginning, especially when it comes to putting them on the new drugs.

The workshop enabled participants to understand the essential components of the new national HIV guidelines with regards to HIV drug resistance management, translate into application recent evidence generated by CIRCB for a better prevention and control of HIV drug resistance in children, adolescents and adults living with HIV in Cameroon amongst other things.

Participants at the workshop also discussed how to best treat the already 20-25 per cent of Africans who are already facing HIV drug resistance and have failed in the first line and second line treatments. These patients, experts said, are difficult to be treated with just the simple established universal first and second line treatment and will need a personalised treatment.

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