Children in Asia receiving treatment for HIV are becoming resistant to AIDS drugs, a study revealed on Thursday.

The study results were made available on World AIDS Day to serve as a reminder that even though more Asians currently have access to basic AIDS treatments, improved medicines are still inaccessible, and a vast number of people still suffer from inadequate care.

Around 160,000 children in Asia are infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes AIDS. Of the total, 57,000 are in need of treatment, but until 2008, only 30,000 were being treated, according to The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Researchers at TREAT Asia, a network of clinics, hospitals and research institutions working together to improve treatment access, discovered children, as young as five were becoming more resistant to AIDS drugs and will soon require newer, more expensive medicines that are still unobtainable for them.

"In our cohort, about 14 percent of the children have failed first-line drugs. Some of the children who are already on second-line are under the age of five," Annette Sohn, director of TREAT Asia and a pediatric specialist for children with HIV/AIDS, said according to Reuters.

Generally, poor adherence in following instructions in timing or frequency of taking the drug can result in resistance. However in Asia, resistance is often because of the lack of drugs specifically designed for children.

"We all made some mistakes on how we managed patients with HIV in the beginning of the epidemic," Sohn said. "We used adult tablets. We had no pediatric formulations in our countries."

Sohn said experts and providers in the field need to find ways to allow third-line, more potent drugs which are increasingly available and subsidized in wealthier nations, accessible for children in developing countries.

"Unless we develop access to third-line drugs, we are going to find ourselves in a clinic room with a patient that there is nothing left and we have no other drug to give them."

Another significant finding of the study shows that 15 percent of teenagers in the study had low bone mineral density, and were showing early signs of osteoporosis.

"That is not normal. Kids are not supposed to have low bone mass when they're 16 years old and that's because of the effect of HIV on their bodies ... brain, bone, immune system," Sohn added.