|Can I get reinfected if on Atripla?
Nov 22, 2008
I've been on Atripla for a year now. My viral load has been undetectable for at least 9 months and my CD4 count is almost 900. If I get infected with another HIV virus, will the drug in me stop the virus from multiplying and therefore allow the new virus to die? As I understand it, the virus can only multiply once inside a cd4 cell...but if it can't multiply then shouldn't it die? Thanks.
Response from Dr. Sherer
It is well documented that secondary infection with HIV can occur, i.e., a person with HIV can acquire a second virus. It is also well-documented that a person who has wild-type virus, i.e. virus with no mutations, can be super infected with a second virus that does have drug resistance mutations. In that case, a patient, like yourself, who is well-controlled on their current ART regimen could suddenly lose the ability to control the virus due to the drug resistant virus, and a change in treatment would be required.
For this reason, HIV clinicians advise their patients to continue to follow safer sex guidelines, both to protect their own health and to prevent the transmission of HIV to others.
It is correct that HIV replicates intracellularly, but it is not correct that it 'dies' if it is unable to do so. Once HIV has gained entry into the DNA of a host cell, it can remain dormant for many years, until such tims as the cell is stimulated or activated, at which time HIV replication will occur.
I urge you to talk to your doctor about your concerns, and this response.
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