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HIV-1 drug resistance before initiation or re-initiation of first-line ART in eight regions of Mexico: a sub-nationally representative survey



HIV pretreatment drug resistance (PDR) to NNRTIs in persons initiating ART is increasing in Mexico.


To compare HIV PDR in eight sub-regions of Mexico.

Patients and methods

A large PDR survey was implemented in Mexico (September 2017-March 2018) across eight sub-regions. All larger clinics (which provide ART to 90% of all initiators) were included, allocating sample size using the probability-proportional-to-size method. Both antiretroviral-naive and prior antiretroviral-exposed persons were included. HIV PDR levels were estimated from pol Sanger sequences obtained at a WHO-designated laboratory.


A total of 2006 participants were enrolled from 74 clinics. PDR to NNRTIs was higher than to other drug classes (P < 0.0001), crossing the 10% threshold in the North-East, East, South-West and South-East. NNRTI PDR was higher in the South-West (P = 0.02), coinciding with the highest proportion of restarters in this sub-region (14%). We observed higher PDR prevalence to any drug in women compared with men (16.5% versus 12.2%, P = 0.04). After multivariable adjustment, higher NNRTI PDR remained significantly associated with previous antiretroviral exposure in the Centre-North, North-West, South-West and South-East [adjusted OR (aOR): 21, 5, 8 and 25, respectively; P < 0.05]. Genetic network analyses showed high assortativity by sub-region (P < 0.0001), with evidence of drug resistance mutation transmission within local clusters.


Diversification of the public health response to HIV drug resistance based on sub-regional characteristics could be considered in Mexico. Higher NNRTI PDR levels were associated with poorer regions, suggesting opportunities to strengthen local HIV programmes. Price and licensing negotiations of drug regimens containing integrase inhibitors are warranted.

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