Nov 18, 2006
I tested positive 2 wks ago with counts of 431T-cell, 21% and 98,000VL. However, I've just learned that the strain that I have is resistent to Sustiva. What does this mean? I'm a little scared!
Response from Dr. Young
Thanks for your post.
What this result means is that you've been infected with a strain of HIV that has already become resistant to efavirenz (Sustiva, Stocrin). This also likely means that your virus is resistant to the other non-nukes, including nevirapine (Viramune).
Hence, when the time comes to start HIV medications, you should be sure that your doctor doesn't prescribe one of these medications as part of your three- or four drug regimen. To do so would risk premature and rapid treatment failure and the genesis of resistance to the other drugs in the regimen. This means that you shouldn't take either Sustiva or the combo drug Atripla.
Fortunately, there are a number of very well tolerated options to using efavirenz, namely the new boosted protease inhibitors, such as fosamprenavir (Lexiva, Telzir) lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra) and atazanavir (Reyataz). Current treatment guidelines recommend the use of these protease inhibitors with low-dose ritonavir (Norvir) boosting.
Hope this helps, best of health to you. BY
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