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To assess the prevalence of HIV antiretroviral resistance among source patients for occupational HIV exposures.
Blood and data (eg, stage of HIV, previous antiretroviral drug therapy, and HIV RNA viral load) were collected from HIV-infected patients who were source patients for occupational exposures.
Seven tertiary-care medical centers in five U.S. cities (San Diego, California; Miami, Florida; Boston, Massachusetts; Albany, New York; and New York, New York [three sites]) during 1998 to 1999.
Sixty-four HIV-infected patients who were source patients for occupational exposures.
Virus from 50 patients was sequenced; virus from 14 patients with an undetectable (ie, < 400 RNA copies/mL) viral load could not be sequenced. Overall, 19 (38%) of the 50 patients had primary eenotypic mutations associated with resistance to reverse transcriptase or protease inhibitors. Eighteen of the 19 viruses with primary mutations and 13 wild type viruses were phenotyped by recombinant assays; 19 had phenotypic resistance to at least one antiretroviral agent. Of the 50 source patients studied, 26 had taken antiretroviral agents in the 3 months before the occupational exposure incident. Sixteen (62%) of the 26 drug-treated patients had virus that was phenotypically resistant to at least one drug. Four (17%) of 23 untreated patients had phenotypically resistant virus. No episodes of HIV transmission were observed among the exposed HCWs.
There was a high prevalence of drug-resistant HIV among source patients for occupational HIV exposures. Healthcare providers should use the drug treatment information of source patients when making decisions about postexposure prophylaxis.
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