The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recommended the use of the HIV drug dolutegravir (DTG) as the preferred first-line and second-line treatment for all populations, including pregnant women and those of childbearing potential.
- Dolutegravir (DTG), sold under the brand name Tivicay, is an antiretroviral medication used, together with other medication, to treat HIV/AIDS.
- Initial studies had highlighted a possible link between DTG and neural tube defects (birth defects of the brain and spinal cord) in infants born to women using the drug at the time of conception.
- But new studies have shown that DTG is more effective, easier to take and has fewer side effects than alternative drugs. It also has a high genetic barrier to developing drug resistance, which is important, given the rising trend of resistance.
- In 2019, 82 low- and middle-income countries reported to be transitioning to DTG-based HIV treatment. The new recommendations aim at helping more nations improve their HIV policies.
Image Credits: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/bff923/article28733063.ece/ALTERNATES/FREE_660/28TH-MED
Source: The Hindu