May 21, 2002
I understand that resistance is common, but is it common or at least possible for anomalies in viral load counts to exist without resistance to be a factor. My partner's viral load has been undetectable for some time except for my last results which shows an increase to detectable (barely). Now, He am very retentive about taking his medications (sustiva, zerit, epivir), so non-compliance would not be a factor. Could there be other reasons for the increase. He's had such great results with this combo and he'd hate to change it.
Yes, He will be tested again soon, but Id appreciate some reassurance (if there is any) before then to reassure him.
And, perhaps others would be interested as well.
Response from Dr. Little
Actually, there is now quite a bit of data to suggest that low level "blips" in viral load (generally between 50 and 200 copies) are quite common in people taking potent therapy and do not seem to predict the failure of the current regimen. It is very important to know how high the detectable viral load is - if it is truely just above the limit of detection, a repeat viral load test is justified, though very frequently in patients taking all of their meds, the next viral load is undetectable again. This low level of viral relapse does not seem to predict viral resistance or impending drug failure.
could I have drug resistance?
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