Cameroon: CIRCB Scientific Council - Centre Examines Capacity to Handle New HIV Drugs

This was during the 11th Ordinary Session of the Scientific Council of the Research Centre yesterday, November 19, 2019 in Yaounde.

The situation of HIV in the world is changing; the treatment rules are also changing especially as the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other international institutions are promoting new approaches to the treatment of HIV with the introduction of new drugs which are not only based on the general universal treatments but will also have an impact on personal treatment driven by the characteristics of each patient. It is within this backdrop that members of the Scientific Council of the "Chantal Biya" International Reference Research Centre on the Prevention and Management of HIV/AIDS (CIRCB) yesterday November 19, 2019 evaluated and examined the capacity of the centre at a time when HIV treatment drugs are changing.

While chairing the Scientific Council, the chairman, Professor Carlo Federico Perno, told the media that CIRCB has the capacity to carry out HIV diagnosis, as it is the only centre in Cameroon which carries out HIV resistance test and is able to know the cause of the resistance in patients where therapy has failed. This, according to Prof. Perno, is relevant for the selection of patients for second or third line treatment as this will be necessary for those who will need the new HIV drugs. "This is a major issue today as many patients have faced HIV drug resistance and where about 20-25 per cent patients have failed treatment and need the second or third line of treatment in Cameroon. And this is well driven by a resistance test in order to have the best possible result", Prof Perno explained. He further noted that CIRCB is able to do resistance HIV test for many patients in a bid to guide their treatment line and to know their viral load. The current session was an occasion for members of the scientific council to study what the research centre did during the year and to access the possibility in 2020 to properly follow and drive therapy treatment to patients in the country especially those faced with drug resistance.

The Director General of the Research Centre, Professor Alexis Ndjolo, said it was also a session to examine the 38 scientific works (research publications) carried out during the course of the year while giving orientations for next year with focus on the new HIV drugs and possible drug resistance. The Chief of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at CIRCB Dr Aubin Joseph Nanfack, said the 38 scientific works carried.

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