Geneva – Unitaid welcomes the World Health Organization’s (WHO) new recommendation this week that the HIV drug dolutegravir (DTG) be used as the preferred first- and second-line treatment for all populations, including pregnant women and those of childbearing potential.
Unitaid’s work with partners has been instrumental in bringing this state-of-the-art drug to lower-income countries at the heart of the world’s HIV epidemic.
Data from Unitaid-funded studies helped WHO arrive at its recommendation by showing DTG to be effective, affordable and with fewer side effects. The studies also found that the HIV virus is less likely to develop resistance to DTG than to common alternatives such as efavirenz.
Unitaid has invested US$ 87 million to optimize HIV treatments, working with partners including Agency for Research on AIDS and Viral Hepatitis (ANRS), Clinton Health Access Initiative, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Unitaid supports WHO’s position that every treatment decision should be based on an informed discussion with a health provider, weighing the benefits and potential risks.