HIV Resistance Testing

The HIV resistance test is carried out on patients who have been diagnosed with HIV and are not responding to anti-viral treatment. Genetic testing allows doctors to see if a patient has a genetic mutation which may cause them to be resistant to a drug.

Why is the test used?

The test is primarily used to help doctors decide appropriate treatment pathways for patients with HIV. The test is ordered for patients who are not responding to anti-viral therapy; the test may also be carried out when a patient is first diagnosed with HIV.

How is the test done?

The test is done by collecting and analysing a sample of blood; the sample is taken from a vein in the arm using a needle; the blood is drawn out and collected in a syringe. Once the doctor has a sufficient sample, the blood will be placed in a bottle, labelled with the patient’s name and sent to the laboratory for evaluation.

What do the test results mean?

The test result will show viral mutations, which are usually classified using series of letters and numbers; the type of mutation will determine whether or not it contributes to drug resistance (some mutations do not cause resistance). The result of the test can be used to determine a suitable treatment.

Specific Blood Tests

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