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What Is a High Genetic Barrier To Resistance?

“Talking about resistance made my options clearer.

There are some HIV medications that have a high genetic barrier to resistance. When the virus replicates and changes, it may put the body’s ability to respond to future medications at risk. A high genetic barrier to resistance allows a medication to bind itself tightly to the virus and keeps working even if the virus has changed.

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Not Every Medication Works the Same

While some medications become less effective after the virus changes once, those with a high genetic barrier to resistance may continue to work even after several changes occur.

Staying Active Against Virus Changes

There is a protein called protease that HIV uses to multiply itself. When HIV changes or mutates, so does the protease. This makes it difficult for some medication to keep blocking the protease. And when that happens, the drugs don’t work as well.

Drugs with a high genetic barrier to resistance are able to reduce the risk of these changes, or at least keep fighting them. Those with a high genetic barrier to resistance can continue working even as more changes occur.