Some HIV medications lead to the development of drug-resistant HIV when patients take as few as two percent of their medications. For other medications, resistance occurs only when patients take most of their pills. These differences appear to be explained by the different levels of viral "fitness" of the drug-resistant HIV, say AIDS researchers in a new study.
The research, led by David Bangsberg, MD, MPH, an AIDS specialist at the University of California, San Francisco, is reported in the January 9 issue of the journal AIDS.
Viral "fitness" refers to the inherent ability of a virus to replicate and cause disease. Incomplete pill-taking by patients causes HIV to mutate and become resistant to the effects of the medications, while the medications that were consumed, in turn, cause the newly resistant virus to become less fit.
Jeff Sheehy | EurekAlert!
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