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New HIV Threat Found in King County

ination of drugs to control the virus could be difficult.

"If it's not controlled at all, they do poorly," said Dr. Bob Harrington, director of the Harborview Medical Center's Madison Clinic, which treats HIV patients.

Harrington said treating patients who are resistant to several types of drugs could cost more than twice the typical $15,000 a year that it costs to treat other HIV patients.

About 350 to 400 new cases of HIV infection are reported in King County each year. About 8,000 county residents are living with the virus, including those with AIDS.

Public Health plans to distribute fliers in gay bars and bathhouses warning of the new strain. And Wood said physicians are being asked to test all newly diagnosed HIV patients for drug resistance and report them to the health department.

Health officials urge gay men who have unprotected sex with multiple partners, use methamphetamines or have another sexually transmitted disease to get tested for HIV every three months.

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