Impact of new developments in antiretroviral treatment on AIDS prevention and care in resource-poor countries

AIDS Patient Care STDS. 2000 May;14(5):251-7. doi: 10.1089/108729100317713.


Combination antiretroviral treatment (ARV) including protease inhibitors, decreased the morbidity and mortality due to AIDS in the industrialized world. Many obstacles remain before ARVs can be introduced in resource-poor countries: high treatment costs, lack of laboratories to monitor the treatment, weak healthcare systems, and many other competing healthcare needs. The introduction of ARVs in resource-poor countries should be closely monitored. The first priority for the use of ARVs in resource-poor countries is the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. News about the success of ARV treatment may lead to an increase in unsafe behaviors including a decreased use of condoms. Therefore, prevention efforts should be strengthened; especially the development of an HIV vaccine needs to become a top priority. Funds for ARV treatment cannot come from the already strained healthcare budgets of resource-poor countries. The pressure on politicians and international donor agencies to provide ARVs to resource-poor countries should be used to increase overall healthcare budgets and to improve healthcare services in general.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / prevention & control*
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / transmission
  • Anti-HIV Agents / economics
  • Anti-HIV Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Developing Countries
  • Disease Transmission, Infectious / prevention & control*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Health Planning*
  • Humans
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Medically Underserved Area*
  • Pregnancy


  • Anti-HIV Agents