The number of new HIV infections with virus resistant to HIV drugs could rise significantly in San Francisco and become a self-sustaining epidemic, according to a study published in the journal Science and reported by Bloomberg News. The authors also fear that an upswing in transmitted drug-resistant virus could imperil efforts to test and treat nearly everyone living with HIV in developing countries. Transmitted drug resistance (TDR) is an ever-present concern for scientists, physicians and people with HIV. When people with drug-resistant HIV pass their virus to others, those newly infected people have fewer treatment options. About 13 percent of people newly infected with HIV in San Francisco get drug-resistant strains.
According to the World Health Organization, about 33.4 million people were infected with the AIDS- causing virus worldwide as of the end of 2008, making it the world’s most prevalent infectious disease. More than 4 million people in low- and middle-income nations were receiving treatment as of the end of 2008, a 10-fold increase over five years.