The Bottom Line

Part of A Guide to HIV Drug Resistance

Although our knowledge of HIV drug resistance has grown tremendously in the past few years, there's a lot left for us to learn about how HIV mutations occur and the effect they have on each different HIV medication. Likewise, HIV drug resistance testing is a developing technology; improvements are being made all the time. As the accuracy of resistance testing advances, it will allow better targeting of HIV treatment.

While resistance tests are extremely helpful, there are still a lot of kinks to work out. One of the biggest kinks is that resistance tests aren't fortune-tellers. Although they can identify weaknesses in medications you are currently taking or considering taking, they can't guarantee how well a new medication will work. But resistance tests are still effective tools for spotting HIV mutations and figuring out which HIV medications are, and aren't, likely to work for you. They provide a lot of valuable information that you and your doctor can use to figure out the next step your treatment should take.

Hopefully, this booklet has given you a better idea of how resistance happens, how you can avoid it, how doctors can test for it and what it means to have drug-resistant HIV. The more you know about resistance, the easier it'll be to work with your doctor to figure out your best course of treatment -- and the better your chances of staying healthy far into the future.

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