May 7, 2003
What are the dangers of reinfection?
| Response from Dr. Young
There are several issues that pertain the reinfection (also known as superinfection).
The main one to me is that someone who is initially infected with drug susceptible (sensitive) virus (and doing well on treatment) could acquire a drug-resistant variant and subsequently experience treatment failure. Furthermore, on treatment or no, all of the expectations about good long-term prognosis and simple medications strategies hinges on the ability to treat fully drug susceptible virus.
Superinfection wiht drug-resistant virus would seriously limit treatment options and likely have a significant impact on prognosis and survival.
Superinfection with HIV also means that there is risk of exposure to other pathogens, like hepatitis virus-- also with significant health implications.
These are important factors to consider, given the commonality of the belief that superinfection does not occur (this is why many HIV+ persons are having unprotected intercourse with others who are HIV+).
Thanks for asking. BY
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