Overcoming the barrier of affordability would allow HIV drug resistance testing to save lives

HIV is considered a chronic but manageable infection thanks to advances in antiretroviral (ARV) medications.

More than 15M people are expected to have access to these drugs by the end of 2015. An unfortunate consequence of this global scale up is an increase in drug resistance, which can render one or more components of an antiretroviral drug regimen ineffective.

Fortunately, the variety of ARVs available today allows physicians the flexibility to prescribe alternative drugs when resistance is present. However, in order to properly match patients with drugs that will work for them, drug resistance testing has to be performed. And that allows the physician to understand the resistance profile of HIV-infected patients.

10% of people fail their HIV drugs every year, because resistance testing is not implemented until late in the treatment paradigm in those parts of the world where HIV presents the greatest public health burden.

This has three distinct negative consequences:

1. for patients, it means living with unmanaged HIV for up to 18 months;

2. for public health, it means that these patients are at risk for transmitting not only HIV, but resistant HIV to others, which has enormous and compounding healthcare costs;

3. and with respect to healthcare systems, it means that limited dollars are wasted on prescribing patients with drugs that don’t work.

Why isn’t drug resistance testing being performed?

At the current price point for HIV genotyping, there is no economic incentive
for healthcare systems or governments to change their behavior

Funds wasted on

incorrect drug matching


Cost of implementing current

genotyping test