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Should I quit

Apr 28, 2003

I have been diagnosed positive for 13 years. I have been anti-meds. I finally went on meds (trizivir) when my platelets went into a dangerously low level and my T-cells were for the first time below 500. I have been taking the drugs for almost 2 years. My T-cells are at a healthy 700 range and my virul load undetectable. My platlelets are normal. My undetstanding is that a side effect of the drugs is that eventually they will effect my platelet count adversely. This is ironic as the platelet count was the original reason why after all these years I went on the drugs. I can't sleep. I am tired. These are side effects of the drugs. Can I take a drug holliday? Can I stop taking the drugs until I have another crisis; i.e. low T-cell, high viral. Is the toxicity of the drug at this point outwieghing it's positive effect?

Response from Dr. Holodniy

This is a decision you need to make with your doctor. You don't indicate what your viral load was prior to starting meds with a CD4 count < 500. The higher the baseline viral load prior to starting treatment, the higher the likelihood that sufficient virus will be back again to decrease that CD4 count. If your viral load was < 5-10,000 at baseline, then it is likely you will sustain your CD4 count in the absence of drugs.

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