A new test to detect infection of drug resistant forms of HIV, even when present in small quantity, has been developed by Researchers at the Duke University Medical Center. This test is contrary to other tests that detect drug-resistant strains only when present in significant portion in a person's bloodstream. It is expected to be of great help to doctors in choosing medicines for patients afflicted with drug resistant strains.
HIV drug-resistance poses a major problem in management of the disease in patients who have never been treated with antiretroviral drugs.
According to Dr. Peter Leone, an AIDS specialist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the test is a major landmark in the ongoing research.
Recent research shows 15 percent or more of newly diagnosed HIV patients harbor drug-resistant strains of the virus.
The test is designed to pick up a common mutant strain, which offers resistance to one of the first-line treatments for HIV. It would then enable doctors to recommend other medicines if patients test positive for drug-resistant strain.