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Drug resistant strain
Jun 13, 2005

My boyfriend and I are both HIV positive. We assumed that somehow we had gotten it from the other and left it at that. However we have recently discovered that the strain he has is resistant to certian regimens and mine is resistant to nothing. Does this mean we don't have the same strain? Does it mean that it came from somewhere else in both our cases? Its not going to change anyhting for us at this point but we are still curious.

Regards - Scott

Response from Dr. Sherer

One possibility, and the most likely one, is that you did acquire different viruses, but more information would be useful to answer the question. Have either of you been on ART? If so, this could account for such differences, particularly if you had different treatment histories. The likelihood that you both did have the same virus and now, without the pressure of ART, one of you evolved a virus that is resistant to 'regimens', as you describe, is very remote.

In the meantime, there is good evidence that 'superinfection' of an HIV+ person with a new and different strain can occur, though it appears to occur at low frequency. HIV clinicians have advised their patients with HIV+ to practice safe sex with other HIV+ persons for this reason, and recently convincing evidence of superinection has emerged. For you and your partner, this is the best strategy for the future.


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