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Viral load and Resistance
May 8, 2001

DOC- Is it bad to be having resistance on more than half of all drugs,,,, but matained a t-cell count of avg of 350 never lower? but with a out control viral load over 80k for the past 2 years?

Response from Dr. Little

Well, this is not the best position to be in. There are always individuals who surprise me and perhaps you are one such person. My questions would be, is your viral load stable at approximately 80K and is your CD4 cell count stable (ie not falling over time) at 350 during the last 2 years. If the answer to both of these questions is yes, then you are not typical - but lucky. We believe that the more drug resistance mutations that a virus acquires, the more replication impaired (ie crippled) the virus becomes. So, if someone had multiple drug resistance mutations, it would not be too farfetched for the viral load to remain positive and perhaps fairly steady for a period of time. Two years does strike me as unusual, but not impossible - no two people are alike - and there may be something unusual or unique about your immune system which has enabled you to maintain a stable CD4 cell count despite a significant viral load of 80K.

worried about drug resistance due to illegal drug use

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