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Do viral load spikes cause resistance?

Sep 12, 2010

It's said that recent infections and immunizations can cause a transient spike in viral load. Is this true for someone who is on treatment and undetectable? I'm having hard time understanding this because the virus is not supposed to replicate in the presence of drugs. Also, now that there is viral replication in the presence of drugs, does that risk creating resistant strains? Briefly, if one is on treatment and undetectable should he/she worry about resistance each time there is an infection (even a simple cold) which is expected to cause an increase in viral load?

Response from Dr. Holodniy

I would not be concerned about resistance development while on treatment remaining adherent, and if your viral load is undetectable. It is much less common for other ongoing infections or immunizations to cause a spike in viral replication and therefore viral load while on HIV treatment.

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