High-level resistance to multiple drugs is often detected by directly sequencing uncloned polymerase chain reaction products (population-based sequencing). It is not known, however, if this method of identifying mutations gives an accurate picture of individual viral genomes. To determine how often multidrug-resistant isolates consist of clones containing every mutation present in the population-based sequence, a mean of 2.8 molecular clones was sequenced from the plasma of 25 heavily treated persons whose population-based sequence contained multiple reverse transcriptase (RT) inhibitor resistance mutations (71 clones). The 25 population-based sequences contained a mean of 5.7 nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI) resistance mutations and 1.2 nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) resistance mutations. The 71 clones contained a mean of 5.3 NRTI resistance mutations and 1.0 NNRTI resistance mutations. Sequences of clones closely resembled the population-based sequence: 36 (51%) clones had each of the RT inhibitor mutations present in the population-based sequence, 25 (35%) had all but 1 RT inhibitor mutation, 4 (6%) had all but 2 RT inhibitor mutations, 3 (4%) had all but 3 RT inhibitor mutations, and 3 (4%) had all but 4 RT inhibitor mutations. Phenotypic testing of 29 clones showed that most clones were resistant to nearly all NRTIs and that those with NNRTI resistance mutations were also resistant to multiple NNRTIs. These data show that in heavily treated persons, most RT inhibitor resistance mutations are present in the same viral genomes (colinear) and that multidrug resistance often occurs within individual clones as well as within virus populations.