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HIV/AIDS

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HIV Resistance test

for Veterans and the Public

Resistance test (HIV Genotype)

This test determines whether the particular virus in your body is resistant to anti-HIV medications.

HIV reproduces rapidly and, as the virus makes copies of itself, little changes (or mutations) sometimes result. These changes can lead to different HIV strains, particularly if the person is taking HIV medicines but the HIV virus is not completely controlled or suppressed. If a strain that is resistant to your HIV drugs develops, the virus will be able to grow even though you are on medication. Your viral load will start to rise. The resistant virus soon will become the most common strain in your body.

A person can be infected with a drug resistant strain of HIV even if he or she has never taken HIV medicines. For this reason, an HIV resistance test is recommended for all HIV infected people as soon as they are diagnosed.

Pop question: True or false. Resistance refers to certain strains of the HIV virus that do not respond to anti-HIV drugs.

Answer: TRUE. Resistance refers to certain strains of the HIV virus that do not respond to anti-HIV drugs. This happens when the virus undergoes a change that makes the anti-HIV drugs no longer effective.