Resistance Does Not Increase Risk of AIDS Progression
October 01 2004 12:00 AM ET
A study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University in the July 23 issue of the journal AIDS marks the second major study this year to show that the development of resistance to antiretroviral drugs does not increase the risk of HIV disease progression to an AIDS diagnosis or death.
In a 24-month study of 572 HIV patients'half of whom were infected with virus with up to two genetic mutations conveying drug resistance, 33% with three to six such mutations and 17% with seven or more'the researchers found that those with the highest number of mutations were no more likely to develop AIDS-related opportunistic infections or die than those with the fewest'or even zero'mutations.
The researchers theorize that drug-resistant HIV may be less fit than wild-type virus and less likely to cause disease progression or that continued use of antiretrovirals even when the virus is not fully suppressed can still slow progression.