HIV Drug Resistance Testing

When the HIV virus, or a pathogen enters the body, its primary purpose is to reproduce. It does not matter if it is a viruses, fungi, bacteria, or protozoa, reproduction and survival are the only things it is programmed to do. Unfortunately, drugs given to fight these pathogens sometimes cause them to mutate and become resistant to the drugs. When that happens, drug therapy eventually becomes useless. In order to be assured that a drug regimen is actually helping an HIV patient, there are now two types of testing available to help find our what drugs will work best for each individual patient, genotypic testing and phenotypic testing.

Fast Facts:

  • Phenotypic testing directly exposes a patients virus to each drug. The more drug it takes to block the virus, the less useful that drug is for that patient.
  • "If the type and number of mutations present in a person's HIV match preestablished mutation patterns for a particular drug," then time is saved and a better drug used.
  • This could lead to a better life for people with HIV