UNAIDS: There is no new superstrain of HIV

CHICAGO — The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) said on Tuesday that, despite media reports, there is not a new and untreatable strain of HIV.

Louie R. Ocampo, country director for UNAIDS Philippines, said in a blog post that virus variants found in the country haven’t changed and are similar to other strains found across the world.

From the blog post:

In addition, there is no conclusive evidence that the strains of the virus found in the country are more infectious than other virus variants, nor is there evidence that they are resistant to the current treatment regimens available.

As with all strains of HIV, prevention measures such as consistent condom use, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PreP), and universal treatment which achieves viral suppression are effective in reducing transmission. All the strains found in the Philippines are effectively treated with the country’s approved antiretroviral therapy options.  

Dr Jose Gerard Belimac, Program Manager of the National HIV/AIDS/STI Prevention and Control Program (NASPCP) has highlighted that early testing, early diagnosis, and immediate treatment initiation are fundamentals to halting the growth of the country’s epidemic.