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Developmental Issues

Based on new evidence assessing benefits and risks, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has recommended the use of the HIV drug dolutegravir (DTG) as the preferred first-line and second-line treatment for all populations, including pregnant women and those of childbearing potential.

"New data from two large clinical trials comparing the efficacy and safety of DTG and efavirenz (EFV) in Africa have now expanded the evidence base. The risks of neural tube defects are significantly lower than what the initial studies may have suggested,’’ a release said.

It noted that DTG is more effective, easier to take and has fewer side effects than alternative drugs. It also has a high genetic barrier to developing drug resistance, which is important, given the rising trend of resistance.

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