Challenges if HIV Treatment in Resource-Poor Countries: A Review
AbstractBackground: The human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome pandemic have posed a significant public health challenge to the global community. Massive therapeutic interventions with antiretroviral drugs are being undertaken, yet problems and challenges exist. This review examines these problems and challenges as they affect the treatment of HIV infection in resource-poor countries such as Nigeria.
Methods: The information was sourced from relevant literature using human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome journals, textbooks and Websites on human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, highly active antiretroviral therapy, resource-poor countries as key words.
Results: Several studies have shown that the advent of highly active antiretroviral therapy in 1996 has significantly reduced morbidity and mortality among people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). But in resourcepoor countries, initiation and maintenance of highly active antiretroviral therapy has been associated with many challenges and problems such as: poor infrastructural base for the control programs; irregular or non availability of drugs; poor drug adherence; co-morbidities and opportunistic infections/malignancies; drug toxicities; drug/food and drug/drug interactions; laboratory monitoring of viral load; CD4 cell counts; full blood counts; electrolytes, kidney and liver functions.
Conclusion: The review has shown that the solution to the pandemic lies in a multi-sectoral and holistic approach involving International and local agencies, and communities.