July 28, 2019

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.


  • Dolutegravir (DTG), sold under the brand name Tivicay, is an antiretroviral medication used, together with other medication, to treat HIV/AIDS. 

  • Initial studies had highlighted a possible link between DTG and neural tube defects (birth defects of the brain and spinal cord) in infants born to women using the drug at the time of conception. 

  • But new studies have shown 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. 

  • In 2019, 82 low- and middle-income countries reported to be transitioning to DTG-based HIV treatment. The new recommendations aim at helping more nations improve their HIV policies. 

Source : The Hindu