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HIV Drug ResistanceHIV Drug Resistance
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How long before resistance develope?
May 22, 2001

I started HAART one year ago with a vl=72000 and a CD4=325. Current meds are Sustiva, Zerit & 3TC with great success - vl=undetectable and CD4=1040. My doc told me that even with perfect compliance I can expect resistance to develope after about 5 years on this combo. Is this true? How long is the avrg time for resitance to develope with a successful drug combination and 100 compliance? Thanks for your valuable info.

Response from Dr. Little

Actually, I will differ a bit from your physician. If a potent regimen such as yours is taken with 100% compliance and the viral load remains undetectable (ie less than 50 copies/mL), then the risk for developing resistance is quite low. IF resistance will develop, I do not believe we know the answer as to how long it will take. I tend to remain a bit more favorable and believe that since we have no data on sustiva regimen at 5 years, we will have to wait and see. However, I see no reason to expect that drug resistance will develop if compliance is excellent and the viral load never becomes detectable (ie >50 copies/ml).

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