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Genetic Testing Before Treatment

Genetic Testing Before Treatment


Are you about to start antiretroviral therapy? If so, you should first have a genetic test to determine if you have resistance to any anti-HIV drugs, according to new guidelines approved in May by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. All HIVers should be given a genotypic resistance test before starting antiretroviral treatment to avoid being prescribed drugs that are ineffective, the new guidelines say. Previously, resistance tests were recommended for HIVers experiencing treatment failure. The new guidelines also urge HIVers to avoid interrupting their treatment through so-called 'drug holidays.' Study data has shown that HIV patients who interrupted treatment were more than twice as likely to experience rapid disease progression or to die from AIDS-related complications than those who consistently took their meds.

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