Watch out for resistance to HIV/AIDS treatment: Official

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Mumbai, Feb 6 (PTI) People and groups involved in antiHIV/AIDS programmes should keep a close watch on the emergenceof resistance to the existing treatment regimen as it couldpose a serious challenge in curbing the dreaded disease, a topGovernment official said today.

"The HIV/AIDS control programme has shown tremendoussuccess in India. But at the same time, it is important tohave close monitoring on the treatment and the emergence ofresistance. It can pose a serious challenge," said V M Katoch,Secretary, Department of Health Research, Union Ministry ofHealth and Family Welfare.

He warned about too many stakeholders doing too manythings relating to HIV/AIDS treatment. The government doesnot want a repeat of anything similar to malaria orcomplications of tuberculosis, in the case of HIV.

Katoch, who is also Director-General of Indian Councilof Medical Research (ICMR), was speaking after inaugurating afour day international conference on "Emerging Frontiers andChallenges in HIV/AIDS Research".

Since the number of cases had reduced, it is importantto closely watch those undergoing treatment. Stakeholders mustwork in tandem to keep the infection under check, he said.

Chander Puri, CEO of Yashraj Biotechnology, said theconsistent viral variation, emerging new infections, differentimmunological responses in host and resistance to therapiesare still recognised as major impediments in developingeffective therapeutic drugs and preventive tools for HIV/AIDS.

Seth Berkley of the US-based International AIDSVaccine Initiative (IAVI), said world needs a preventionrevolution to control the spread of HIV/AIDS.

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