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resistant strains
Jul 15, 2005

I have read that around 5% of newly infected people have strains that are resistant to one or more of the drugs to fight hiv. common logic would say that since patients with hiv who take drugs for this ultimately build up a resistance to them after several years, wouldn't you then conclude that through the coming years, newly infected people would increasingly be infected with resistant strains?/ Won't this be more and more common?? If this is true wouldn't you conclude that newly infected persons are going to have more problems than say someone who was infected 10 years ago before resistance was seen???

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your post.

You're absolutely correct that the problem of transmitted drug resistance is serious. The actual figure of first-line resistance varies from city to city and can be much higher in some places, like San Francisco (in excess of 20%).

There is some debate as to whether the rate is increasing or level, but suffice to say that there is a significant rate. As persons live longer and longer and as second- and later rounds of treatment get more effective, the possibility of transmitted resistance increases.

These points emphasize the need for adherence,safe sex and safe drug messages, for everyone-- everyone on antiretroviral therapies has the potential risk to develop drug resistance and the potential to transmit this resistane to their partners. BY

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