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Drug companies often argue that people in the developing world make poor use of HIV medicines, promoting drug resistance by failing to complete their treatment course. But new research shows that this is incorrect.

US researcher David Bangsberg and colleagues found that if drugs have not controlled the virus it will mutate more — and develop more resistance — the more the patient continues to take medicines. What is needed, they say, is access to the most effective drugs as soon after diagnosis as possible, to control the virus before it has a chance to mutate. 

Other research has found that patients in the developing world follow their doctor's instructions as closely as anyone else. 

Link to Nature news story

Reference: Nature 424, 866 (2003)

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