AIDS news alarming

Posted: Monday, July 28, 2003

Thanks to billions of dollars in research, countless hours in the laboratory and a long process of trial and error, medical researchers have developed a variety of drugs that keep people with HIV from developing AIDS. It's crucial to preserve the effectiveness of these hard-won advances as long as possible.

That's why a study presented ... at an international AIDS conference in Paris was so alarming. ... Researchers who tested 1,633 newly infected HIV-positive people in 17 European countries found that nearly 10 percent of the patients had strains of the virus that were resistant to at least one of the three main categories of anti-AIDS drugs. This study, the largest of its kind, confirms the main finding of other, smaller studies: that drug-resistant strains exist and are spreading.

It's an alarming development, and scientists should be prepared to adjust drug treatment and education programs accordingly. ...

Many scientists fear that as the consequences of contracting the virus have become less dire, high-risk behavior, including needle-sharing and unprotected sex, is becoming more common. ...

The Times-Picayune, New Orleans

July 21

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