Paris, July 17 (AFP): The fight against the global AIDS pandemic received grim news yesterday with the release of a new study showing that 10 per cent of newly infected patients in Europe have developed drug-resistant strains of the disease.
The “catch” study involved 1,633 patients across 17 European countries who had just been diagnosed as carrying HIV and had not yet received any kind of treatment.
While researchers said that resistance could be expected to occur, what was worrying about the finding was that it showed that infected people continued to engage in high-risk behaviour, such as sex without condoms and needle-sharing.
Results showed that 9.6 per cent of patients showed resistance to at least one of the three types of anti-retroviral drugs commonly used to fight the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and AIDS, including the powerful pro-tease inhibitors.
The study, conducted between 1996 and 2002, was released by its researchers at four-day scientific conference on AIDS hosted in Paris by the International AIDS Society.
Results indicated that people infected with the HIV virus and undergoing treatment continued to have high-risk sex or share needles, said the Dutch researcher David van de Vijver from the Utrecht University Medial Centre.