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scared of having acquired a resistant strain
May 5, 2008

Dear Doctor,

I got infected about 4 months ago, not on treatment yet. I understand that current regimens are fairly easier to take (such as Atriplia) with milder side effects. I am really afraid of having acquired a resistant strain and not being able to take advantage of Atriplia. Is resistance a commonly encountered problem in newly infected patients? I live in Paris and my doctor refused to do a resistance test. Sometimes I wish I lived in the US where I think the doctors are more careful with such important issues.

Thank you for your valuable time.

Response from Dr. McGowan

Current European (EACS), British (BHIVA, 2008 in draft form), US (DHHS) guidelines recommend that your doctor should test virus for the presence of drug resistance as part of your initial assessment prior to initiating treatment particularly in areas where HIV treatment use is high. I would explain to your doctor that you are concerned about having acquired a drug resistant strain and that you would like to get a drug resistant test to see if this is the case. Even if you do not need treatment now, the results of your drug resistant test may impact on the regimen that is most likely to be effective at achieving viral suppression when the time comes to start.

Best, Joe


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