What is drug resistance?

What is drug resistance?

When a drug no longer works to suppress a virus or microorganism, we call it "drug resistance."

How does HIV becomes drug-resistant?

Hiv is an antiretrovirus, it is known to 'mutate' over time and adapt to its environment. While treatment is still effective and destroys cells with the old form of the virus, new forms mutate and develop which are able to multiply in the presence of the drug.

Why does it matter to me?

If your hiv becomes resistant to a drug, then you will have to switch to another drug, class of drugs or change treatement altogether. There are many combinations available nowadays, so there is no reason to panic!

What can I do?

Compliance is important. Being compliant means following the doctor's prescription and in particular not skipping doses (if you have side effects or problems with compliance, discuss with your doctor who may be able to find a treatment better suited to your needs).

I always follow my doctor's orders to the letter. /Three times daily' means spacing pills evenly throughout the day (i.e. every 8 hours because 3 x 8 hours = 24 hours, which in fact means 8 a.m., 4 p.m and midnight). I respect the times religiously because if the amount of drugs in my bloodstream becomes too low, then the virus becomes more able to mutate.


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