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Scientists study HIV drug resistance tests

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BOSTON, Sep 27, 2005 (UPI via COMTEX) -- Boston scientists say drug-resistance testing in HIV-infected patients at the time of diagnosis is cost-effective and may increase life expectancy.

A cost-effectiveness analysis indicates performing genotype resistance testing at initial HIV diagnosis -- prior to treatment -- can effectively guide a physician's choice of treatment regimen and increase a patient's quality-adjusted life expectancy.

"For the approximately 90 percent of patients with no resistance, the testing provides no benefit," said lead author Dr. Paul Sax of Brigham and Women's Hospital. "However, if certain types of resistance are present, our study projects a substantial increase in survival" of more than 14 months, compared with no resistance testing.

It's estimated that in the United States and Europe, the average resistance rate in treatment-naive patients is between 8 percent and 10 percent, although baseline resistance may be as high as 16 percent in gay men.

Using a model with a resistance rate of just more than 8 percent, the analysis estimated a cost of $23,900 per quality-adjusted life year gained.

The research appears in the Nov. 1 online issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases.


Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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