The Ghana AIDS Commission has invited Dr. Evelyn Yayra Bonney to present the findings of her work on HIV drug resistance at its 4th Strategic Information Dissemination Forum to be held in Kumasi on 27-28th September 2017. The purpose of this Forum is to share results from key population surveys, update on current research being conducted and consult stakeholders on pertinent issues regarding HIV and AIDS management in Ghana.
Evelyn completed her PhD in 2013. She worked on a project designed to collect evidence-based information about an important problem (drug resistance) in the management of HIV/AIDS using antiretroviral therapy (ART). The emergence of drug resistance during ART has the potential to offset the gains made during treatment. The project sought to find the extent of drug resistance among HIV patients on therapy and how this was affected by the country’s ART policy at the time. The results showed that a high percentage of patients had resistance to the drugs they were taking and also to other drugs in the same class, which they had never taken. Some of these patients, carrying drug- resistant strains, were apparently doing well according to the monitoring tools in use at the time. This meant that HIV patients in Ghana were not getting the best out of ART because the monitoring tools were inadequate. The study therefore recommended a modification in ART policy to include routine viral load and drug resistance tests as part of the monitoring tools, particularly before a switch in regimen, to inform decision on the new regimen.
Dr. Evelyn Yayra Bonney
Dr. Evelyn Yayra Bonney is a Research Fellow in the Virology Department of Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research. Her research interests include virus-host interactions and antiviral research with a focus on Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). She holds a PhD in Biochemistry and envisages becoming a renowned HIV researcher; with a well-equipped laboratory for cutting-edge research and training of younger scientists. She is currently a Fellow of the NIH/ Fogarty Global Health Equity Scholars program and a member of the Ghana ART and HIVDR Technical Working Group.