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Same Sero Status Couple Drug Resistance Question
May 23, 2007

My lover and I are both positive. He for 8 years and I for 1 year. He is on meds and doing very well. I am not on meds at this time and doing very well, good numbers and feeling great. He just switched to Atripla. Both of our genotype tests are wide open with no significant mutations. My question is is it possible his viral strain has built up a resistance to any one of his meds even though his adherence is 100% and has been since he started meds 4 years ago? I am concerned that I might get his viral strain through unsafe sex which could be resistant to Atripla(its components) and then when its time for me to start meds that the major single pill drug will not be effective for me.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

This question comes up frequently. Check the archives and you'll see what I mean. Superinfection is indeed possible and has been well documented. However, exactly how often this occurs and under what exact circumstances remains under investigation. Recent data suggests it's more common in early infection. That said, even if the risk turns out to be relatively low, it's still a risk that can be easily eliminated by using latex condoms. Until we know much more about HIV coinfection/superinfection, I would strongly suggest you continue to use latex condoms. Sure, condoms can be an annoyance, but I find that sex is much hotter and more satisfying when you reduce risk and worry as much as possible.

Review the information in the archives on superinfection for more details.

Good luck to you and your partner.

Stay well!

Dr. Bob



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