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AIDS. 2004 Jun;18 Suppl 3:S63-8.

HIV-1 subtype distribution and the problem of drug resistance.

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  • 1McGill University AIDS Centre, Lady Davis Institute, Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


Genetic diversity is a hallmark of HIV-1 infection with regard to the expansion of distinct viral subtypes (clades A, B, C, D, E, F, G, K, and O) in different geographical regions. Here, we discuss the issues of HIV-1 sensitivity to antiretroviral drugs and drug resistance in the context of HIV-1 subtype diversity. Virtually all available evidence suggests that all subtypes of HIV display similar sensitivity to antiviral drugs, but viruses from some subtypes or geographical regions may occasionally have a greater propensity to develop resistance against certain drugs than other viral variants. In some situations, the types of mutations associated with resistance may vary, as a result of subtle differences among subtypes with regard to the genetic code. This consideration notwithstanding, drug resistance is unlikely to become a more serious issue in developing than developed countries, and there is an urgency to make anti-HIV drugs available to all who are in need.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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