As the world is battling the growing concerns about Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), which leads to failure of treatment of major bacterial diseases, calls for collective response to check the development through collective action have been making the rounds to ensure effective prevention and treatment of infections. However, a new concern has emerged with the World Health Organisation, WHO, alerting about the emergence of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, HIV, drug resistance (HIVDR), which is a critical aspect of the broader global response to antimicrobial resistance. In simple terms, drugs for HIV treatment are failing and the development is causing anxiety not just in Nigeria or other countries with high burden of HIV/AIDS, but all over the world. Of the 36.7 million people living with HIV worldwide, 19.5 million people were accessing antiretroviral therapy in 2016. The majority of these people are doing well, with treatment proving highly effective in suppressing the HIV virus. But a growing number of people are experiencing the consequences of drug resistance. WHO is issuing new guidelines to help countries address HIV drug resistance? The body recommends that countries monitor the quality of their treatment programmes and take action as soon as treatment failure is detected. According to the National Agency for the Control of AIDS, NACA, an estimated 900,000 Nigerians living with HIV are currently on treatment while about 2.3 million others are not on any form of treatment, Health experts have raised alarm over the growing incidence of resistance to anti-retroviral drugs in the country. They argue that the situation is potentially dangerous if nothing is done to check the trend, explaining that HIV is unforgiving when people living with the virus fail to adhere to their drug regimen. According to WHO, increasing HIV drug resistance trends could lead to more infections and deaths. Mathematical modelling shows an additional 135,000 deaths and 105,000 new infections could follow in the next five years if no action is taken, while HIV treatment costs could increase by an additional $650 million during the period. Just last week, WHO published a list of 11 countries in the latest HIVDR survey but even though Nigeria was not mentioned, there is clear evidence that HIV drug resistance is widespread in the country. Unknown numbers of Nigerians living with HIV are already showing signs of resistance to the antiretroviral (ARV) drugs. In the latest WHO publication tagged:”HIV Drug Resistance Report 2017″, the increasing trend of resistance to HIV drugs detailed in the report based on national surveys conducted in several countries showed that growing threat could undermine global progress in treating and preventing HIV infection if early and effective action is not taken.

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