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Medical News & Perspectives
February 13, 2002

"Sobering" Levels of Drug-Resistant HIV Found

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JAMA. 2002;287(6):704-705. doi:10.1001/jama.287.6.704-JMN0213-4-1

Chicago—More than half of HIV-infected adults in the United States who are receiving treatment for the condition are infected with strains of the virus that are resistant to one or more antiretroviral drugs, according to a new study of nearly 2000 patients reported here at the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

These are "sobering" findings with important implications for treating patients with HIV infection, because when HIV accumulates resistance mutations, patients are left with dwindling treatment options, said Douglas D. Richman, MD, of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) San Diego Health Care System and the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Another concern is the spread of drug-resistant strains of the virus to people who are not yet infected, which means that from the inception of their infection, they have potentially fewer effective antiretrovirals at their disposal.

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