Changing ART: what to do if viral load rebounds

This booklet about changing HIV treatment (ART) and drug resistance was updated in January 2018.

It explains when and why treatment needs to be changed, which tests are used and what the results mean, how to choose drugs for the next combination and how to help make sure the next treatment will work well.

It also includes information about new drugs in development and other research.



Reasons to change treatment

Do some drugs develop resistance more easily?

Reasons a combination can fail

Why adherence is linked to drug resistance

Important monitoring tests

When should I change and which drugs can I use?

How do I choose new drugs?

Other treatment strategies

Changing treatment to avoid side effects

CD4 and viral load results

ARV treatment history

Further information





Tables and diagrams


This guide was written and compiled by Simon Collins for HIV i-Base. Thanks to the advisory group of HIV positive people and healthcare professionals for comments and to Monument Trust for funding this publication.

About our guides

Information about how we produced this guide and the importance of using language that is direct and easy to understand.

This includes information on how to write non technical medical information that may be useful as a resource for other organisations.

Last updated: 1 November 2017.