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The nucleoside and nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs/NtRTIs) remain an enduring feature of combination therapy. As NRTI/NtRTI options continue to expand, questions arise about how best to combine these agents to create effective dual NRTI/NtRTI backbones in antiretroviral regimens while avoiding treatment-emergent drug resistance. Clinicians must consider how NRTIs/NtRTIs such as tenofovir DF (TDF), abacavir (ABC), and emtricitabine (FTC), as well as new once-daily and coformulated NRTIs/NtRTIs, interact with older agents when combined in novel regimens and how sequencing the new NRTIs can preserve future treatment options. Resistance data from clinical trials have revealed important information on the patterns, prevalence, and effects of resistance seen among patients experiencing virologic failure. In recent years, the prevalence of some mutations such as M184V and Q151M has remained relatively constant, while the L74V mutation, the 69 insertions, and thymidine analogue mutations have decreased in prevalence. Other mutations such as K65R and Y115F, while still relatively uncommon, are increasing in prevalence. This increase may be due to the use of new treatment combinations that select for these mutations at a higher rate. Clinical trials suggest that new regimens containing TDF or ABC select for K65R and that this mutation is observed more frequently with TDF; in contrast, L74V is observed more frequently in ABC-containing regimens but is not commonly selected by TDF-containing regimens. Several lines of evidence are converging to suggest that the presence of zidovudine may decrease the risk of L74V and K65R in ABC- or TDF-containing regimens. This review summarizes the clinical implications of resistance profiles associated with new NRTI/NtRTI regimens in current use and in advanced clinical studies.