People contracting HIV increasingly acquire strains that are resistant to antiretrovirals (ARVs), in particular non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs, or non-nukes). Publishing their findings in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, researchers analyzed data on 496 HIV-positive participants in the San Diego Primary Infection Cohort, looking at 1996 to 2013.

The members of the group studied all underwent genotypic resistance testing before starting ARVs.

Overall, 13.5 percent (67 of 496) of the cohort had transmitted drug resistance (TDR). Over time, the rate of TDR increased. The predominant TDR was among non-nukes, at 8.5 percent (42 of 496) of the cohort; this rate also saw an upward trend. The rate of TDR to protease inhibitors and nucleoside/nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors was a respective 4.4 percent (22 of 496) and 3.8 percent (19 of 496); these rates remained constant over time.

The prevalence of TDR did not differ by individuals’ age, sex, race or ethnicity, or their risk factors in contracting HIV.

The researchers concluded, “These findings highlight the importance of baseline resistance testing to guide selection of [HIV treatment] and for public health monitoring.”

To read the study abstract, click here.

To read the POZ HIV drug chart, which includes a list of non-nukes, click here.