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Questions about resistance
Jun 23, 2003

hi,

I am going to see an hiv specialist next week for bloodwork ect. Is it likely for me to have a drug resistant virus since my partner was not on any antiretroviral's?

Response from Dr. Pierone

It is not likely that you have drug resistant virus, simply because most people newly diagnosed with HIV infection have drug sensitive, or "wild type" virus. "Wild type" sounds bad, but it really just means drug sensitive virus a good thing. Although not common, the possibility of transmitted drug resistant virus should always be considered.

If you are sure that you acquired HIV infection from your partner and he or she has proven "wild type" virus, it is a good bet that you do as well. If you are not 100% sure that the infection was from your partner then of course all bets are off.

For people that have had multiple potential exposures the risk of infection with drug resistant virus depends on the rate in the community that one lives. For example, in our part of semi-rural Florida, we typically do resistance tests on our newly diagnosed treatment-nave patients and have not yet seen transmitted drug resistance. In NYC or San Francisco the situation is entirely different. Resistance testing of newly diagnosed patients is not yet considered standard of care, it may become so as time goes by and more studies are completed.

When you see the HIV specialist for your visit and blood work plan to mention the subject of resistance testing. You should get some helpful advice specific to you situation. Good luck!



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