[en] Anti-HIV Agents/therapeutic use ; Cross-Sectional Studies ; Developing Countries ; Drug Resistance, Viral/genetics ; HIV Infections/drug therapy/virology ; HIV-1/drug effects/genetics ; Humans ; Mutation ; Program Evaluation ; Rwanda ; Treatment Outcome ; Viral Load
[en] Our study aimed to complete the published data on ARV therapy in Africa by describing the baseline situation in Rwanda before the launch of a large ARV programme (ESTHER). Prescription habits, frequency and reasons for treatment interruptions but also antiviral efficay, resistance to ARVs and genotypic variability of the viruses present in Rwanda were analysed. Among the 233 patients included in the study, it appeared that a vast majority (91%) were under triple therapy and that half of them had experienced at least one treatment interruption caused mainly by drug shortage or financial difficulties. Among 60 blood samples analysed, 26 were in virological failure with a viral load above 1000 RNA copies/ml and 11 presented major drug resistance mutations. Finally, virological failure could mainly be explained by the high frequency of treatment interruptions but also by the emergence of drug resistance mutations. Consequently the major objective for the ESTHER programme to improve the situation in Rwanda will be to reduce the drug shortage and facilitate the financial accessibility of the treatments.