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AZT-resistant HIV seen.

AZT-resistant HIV seen

Marking a potentially significant setback in the battle against AIDS, the AIDS-causing virus, HIV, has in some patients become resistant to the only drug so far FDA-approved to combat the fatal disease. At least 11 AIDS patients who took zidovudine, or AZT, for at least six months now harbor HIV strains showing significantly reduced sensitivity to the drug in laboratory tests. The findings were made public this week by the drug's manufacturer, Burroughs Wellcome Co. of Research Triangle Park, N.C., in a letter to more than 8,000 physicians. Details will appear in the March 31 SCIENCE.

While the development of resistance was not entirely unexpected, it highlights an area of growing concern to researchers in the fledgling field of antiviral drugs (SN: 2/18/89, p.110). Researchers reviewing the data recommend no immediate changes in treatment. But once other AIDS drugs become approved, they say, combination treatments may help slow the development of drug resistance. Clinical trials of several such combinations are already underway.
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Publication:Science News
Date:Mar 18, 1989
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