HIV and Aids - Resistance Counselling

HAART (highly active antiretroviral therapy) has greatly reduced HIV related mortality and morbidity. There is, however, an increasing emergence of resistance to ARV drugs and this could threaten the success in disease management. For HIV, drug resistance exists when the virus can multiply, or make copies of itself, in the presence of one or more ARV drugs, usually from the same class.

Research has shown that no antiretroviral drug is resistance proof and that resistance is often linked to non-adherence to HAART. The danger is that resistant viruses can spread and threaten the effectiveness of antiretroviral therapy. Transmission of HIV resistant strains is of increasing concern.

In the case of resistance that occurs to non-adherence, resistance can be contained and the likelihood of its occurrence can be minimised with appropriate psychosocial support, identification of early warning indicators and close monitoring for resistance.

Zoë-Life’s Role

Zoë-Life has provided technical support and capacity building to Health Care Workers (HCW) in DoH and Civil Society on resistance counselling. Training and mentorship is provided to assist HCW to identify early warning indicators, provide intensive counselling and close monitoring to non-adherent clients.