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Franklin & Marshall College

Publication Date

Fall 12-1-2014

Program Name

Switzerland: Global Health and Development Policy


Background: South Africa has the largest prevalence of HIV infection. This epidemic impacts adults as well as the pediatric population. The presence of drug-resistant mutations to antiretroviral therapies among infants and children is on the rise. Few studies have been conducted on this topic. Objective: The study aims to determine whether drug resistance testing in the form of genotypic testing is cost-effective when deciding whether to switch to a new HIV antiretroviral therapy following drug failure. Method: An interactive research approach is taken by collecting primary data from experts in this field. Secondary sources including guidelines from the World Health Organization and the South African Department of Health were also analyzed. Results: This study finds that, at the moment, genotypic testing is not cost-effective and should not be employed in routine primary care clinics. Conclusion: Although not recommended for routine care, genotypic testing is extremely beneficial when determining the underlining cause of drug resistance and when tailoring individual regimens for patients. A scale-up of the HIV response and a low-cost drug resistance test are needed in order to make it cost-effective.


African Studies | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Infectious Disease | International and Area Studies | Medical Specialties | Medicine and Health Sciences | Other Medical Specialties | Preventive Medicine | Public Health | Viruses


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