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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Tranmission of resistant strain to HAART
Mar 30, 2006

HI. I am HIV+ male not on medication. Keeping my CD4 count at about 290 for the past 2 years. In the event of me having unprotected sex with someone that has already built up resistance to some HIV meds. Do I pick up the resistant strain?

Is it advisable to stay of meds for as long as possible to prevent building up resistance to the medications?

Response from Dr. Conway

It is possible (although not certain) that if you have contact with someone who is carrying a resistant strain, you may acquire it and reduce your likelihood of responding to certain medications when you will need them. This is one of the key reasons you still need to be safe even if you already have HIV infection.

As for the medications themselves, it now appears that once you start them, you should stay on them for life. A study (the SMART study) that was looking at the possibility of intermittent treatment based on following the CD4 counts very closely and stopping when it goes up and only restarting when it starts to go down) show this to not be a good idea. This being said, many simple once daily regimens could be available to you that would make long-term treatment more tolerable.

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