7 Things to Know About HIV Drug Resistance


Sarah Lewis, PharmD

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The HIV virus is highly adaptive. This means it changes itself to survive better within its host. HIV replicates very quickly— so quickly it often makes mistakes when it copies itself. Some of these mistakes, or mutations, are beneficial to the virus. Through natural selection, the virus starts purposely including these beneficial mutations when it copies itself. This ultimately results in a new strain—or variation—of the virus. The new strain can make the HIV virus less reactive to the medications you’re taking, which is known as drug resistance. HIV drug resistance can be difficult to treat, so make sure you’re informed about this serious problem.

HIV treatment is very different than it was in the past. Now, with the right treatment, people who are HIV-positive live long, healthy lives. HIV experts share their tips for treating your HIV.

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd, MD, FACS Last Review Date: Apr 13, 2016

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