The prevalence of HIV-1 drug resistance among antiretroviral treatment naïve individuals in Mainland China

Yingying Su, Fujie Zhang, Huixin Liu, M Kumi Smith, Lin Zhu, Jing Wu, Ning Wang

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BACKGROUND: Surveillance of drug resistance in antiretroviral treatment-naïve patients in China is needed to ensure optimal treatment outcomes and control of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemic.

METHODS: A systematic literature search was conducted in English and Chinese through PubMed (English), China National Knowledge Infrastructure (Chinese), Chinese Biomedical Literature Database (Chinese), and Wanfang (Chinese). Random effects models were used to calculate the pooled prevalence of transmitted drug resistance and subgroup analyses examined prevalence estimates across time periods, study locations, and study populations.

RESULTS: Analysis of data from 71 studies (47 in Chinese and 24 in English) yielded a pooled prevalence of transmitted HIV drug resistance to any antiretroviral drug class of 3.64% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 3.00%-4.32%). Rates were significantly high at initial stage of free ART program from 2003 to 2005 (5.18%, 95%CI: 3.13%-7.63%), and were much lower among studies conducted in 2006-2008 (3.02%, 95%CI: 2.03%-4.16%). A slight increase was observed again in the most recent study period from 2009 to 2012 (3.68%, 95%CI: 2.78%-4.69%). Subgroup analysis revealed highest prevalence levels of transmitted drug resistance in Beijing city, and Henan and Hubei provinces (above 5%), and although differences in prevalence rates among risk groups were negligible, men who have sex with men were unique in their relatively large portion of protease inhibitor resistance, a second-line drug of limited availability in China.

CONCLUSIONS: Overall prevalence of transmitted HIV drug resistance in China is classified as "low" by the World Health Organization. However regional and temporal variability suggest a more complex epidemic for which closer HIV drug resistance surveillance is needed. A nationwide HIV drug resistance surveillance system to monitor both treatment-experienced and treatment-naïve patients will be a cornerstone to ensure the effectiveness of treatment scale-up, particularly as China seeks to expand a national policy of antiretroviral treatment as prevention.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere110652
JournalPLoS One
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 24 2014


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