May #91 : Doctor Shocker! - by Anita Flanagan

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Children of a Lesser God

Virgin With A Vengeance

Liver and Let Live

Submission: Impossible

Now They C It

Drug Trade

Insecurity Council

Lady Buggers

Latest Battles On Latex

Knock, Knock


Leap of Faith

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AIDS Lyrics

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It Takes Tube

Pot Shot

Show Us the Money

It Happened in May

Guru Gere“Gotcha??

Take This Mug and Stuff It

The Rub

Big Easy

Doctor Shocker!

Warts and All

On Your Feet

Brains, Not Beauty

Math Hysteria

Main Squeeze


Treat and Run

Double Agent

Unhappy Together

A Fish Called Tuna

Risk and Tell

Tell and Risk


Editor's Letter

Star Billings

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

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May 2003

Doctor Shocker!

by Anita Flanagan

Is your doctor as clueless about HIV drug resistance as most appear to be? The January 1 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases (CID) reported that only one-quarter of health pros know enough about HIV’s mass of mutations to read a resistance test.

While no one is screaming malpractice, genotypic exams can offer need-to-know info about not only what’s causing your treatment to fail but also which drugs not to switch to. The test reads all the mutations your HIV’s genes have developed and identifies the corresponding drugs. Matches indicate partial or total resistance to a med.


But CID reported that only 17 of the 100 MDs surveyed correctly ID’d more than one resistance mutation (out of the 16 most common) for each of the six drug regimens studied—and one-third outright flunked by failing to make any correct matches. “We were surprised at the number of providers who lacked knowledge of the most basic mutations,” said Carlos Salama, MD, author of the report. These docs should “locate an expert in genotypic interpretation and receive guidance interpreting results,” he sniffed. Ouch! Or click on

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