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Reinfection by resistant virus

May 8, 2000

How likely are the chances of reinfection with a resistant strain of virus? I am on combivir, indinavir and ritonovir and have just achieved undetectable viral load on this, my first set of meds. However, I got a fright recently when I may have got some (possibly infected) body fluid on some razor cuts. Am I being a bit neurotic - I remember being told that the chances of picking up HIV were low this way - but I already played safe and still got infected! Sorry for raising this in this forum, but none of the others seemed quite right :-) Cheers, Al from London

Response from Dr. Holodniy

The risk of infection from the exposure you describe is extremely low. However, there have been some recent reports of infection with a resistant virus in people who are already infected. The molecular sequence of the resistant virus in the recipient, looked identical to the virus in the blood from the source patient. So from high risk kinds of exposures, this kind of "reinfection" can happen. We already know that resistant virus can be transmitted to uninfected people.


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