'Deep sequencing test' for people who have HIV

Mahidol University's Faculty of Medicine at Ramathibodi Hospital has succeeded in developing "HIV-1 Deep Sequencing" as a better test for drug-resistant HIV that will yield results 100 times faster than before.

To mark the World AIDS Day, the centre will provide this "HIV-1 Deep Sequencing" tests to patients and provide consultations when reading the test results to doctors treating people with HIV free-of-charge from December 1 on. For more details, call 02-201-1470 or download information from http://sdrv.ms/1dGGRwy.

The centre's chief Dr Wasan Chantratita said Thailand had had 1.17 million people with HIV/Aids over the years, with 447,640 living with the disease now. He said the number of new infections had been reduced to about 8,900 per year. However, there was the issue of drug-resistant HIV, so the better testing method for drug-resistant HIV was timely and they could also adjust prescribed anti-retroviral drugs.

The collaboration between the centre, plus the Science and Technology Ministry's Thailand Centre of Excellence for Life Sciences (TCELS) and Roche Diagnostics (Thailand) Ltd would enable doctors to detect mutated HIV from a small amount of blood from a patient, Wasan said.

So, doctors could change prescribed anti-retroviral drugs and cut down a chance of cross-resistance occurring. This would also prevent drug-resistant patients from having to take the mostly imported and expensive second formula.

This would save the country money, he said.