Infection with
drug-resistant HIV does not lead to faster disease

Adults infected
with a strain of HIV already resistant to one or more
anti-HIV drugs do not experience faster disease progression
than those infected with wild-type virus, according to
a study in the January 1 edition of the journal
AIDS, reports. Researchers followed
about 300 HIV patients, 10% of whom were infected with
drug-resistant virus, and discovered that while CD4-cell
counts dropped more rapidly among drug-resistant patients in
the first year after infection, there was no
difference in subsequent years. At the five-year mark,
there was no significant difference in median CD4-cell
counts between those infected with drug-resistant and those
with wild-type virus.

The study also
showed that those infected with drug-resistant virus were
just as likely to suppress HIV viral levels to below 500
copies per milliliter of blood through antiretroviral
therapy as those infected with wild-type virus.

observations suggest that transmitted drug resistance
impacts on response to first-line therapy in a subtle
manner, if at all, and that longer-term follow-up and
the study of second-line and salvage therapy will be
required to identify clear correlates with the initial
presence of resistance,” the researchers wrote.

Tags: Health, Health