In August/September 1996’s “Attack of the Mutation Monster,” Mike Barr issues the first popular-press report of drug- resistant HIV, caused by AZT monotherapy. Musing darkly, he asks whether a new epidemic of untreatable multidrug-resistant (MDR) HIV has been spawned.
FOLLOW-UP: Resistance soon materializes as a bane of the protease boom, but Barr’s worst-case scenario does not.
In May 1997’s “Who’s Afraid of Reinfection?” Mark Schoofs dares to disclose that many gay HIVers are having unprotected sex with one another. Schoofs speculates about the risk of reinfection with a second strain that may cause serious treatment complications.
FOLLOW-UP: Only a handful of reinfection—a.k.a. “superinfection"—cases have ever been found, though last month Frieden’s own health officials were warning of “many cases.”
“SUPER TRANSMISSION” NEWS:
In November 1999’s “Both Sides Now,” HIVer vet Stephen Gendin and his partner, Hush MacDowell, offer first-person accounts of how MacDowell contracted Gendin’s MDR virus—and became the first reported case of resistant-HIV transmission.
FOLLOW-UP: After Dr. David Ho’s ADARC first turned him away, dismissing his MDR transmission fears as unscientific, MacDowell went on to be tested and successfully treated at the clinic. Today, he remains healthy.