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HIV Drug ResistanceHIV Drug Resistance
           
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drug resistance
Oct 13, 2002

I tested positive in June and just received my first lab results. T4 423 and VL 15,000. At the clinic they performed a geno type (spelling?) test. They found that the strain is resistant to some medications. They did, however, tell me that there are lots of options, including meds which arent protease inhibitors. They believe it is possible to go for a while without taking medications especially since I am asymptomatic. Is having become positive with this strain of virus more dangerous than a regular type of infection? Or is this geno typing good news because it helps target the virus better? Based on guessing, I may have become infected in November of 1998.

Response from Dr. Little

To our knowledge, the rate of immune destruction with a drug sensitive vs. a drug resistant strain are comperable. That is, the only negative regarding infection with a drug resistant strain is that you may have fewer treatment options when the time comes to start therapy. It is true, that only with this information can your doctors make the best possible treatment recommendations when you are ready to start therapy. I would ask for a copy of your resistance test to keep, since if you change care providers any time in the future, it would be very helpful to the treating doctors to know this information (i.e. resistance may not be detectable several years from now if you don't start therapy right away - yet resistance will still be present, just at such a low level that it is not readily identified).


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