The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
Ask the Experts About

Understanding Your LabsUnderstanding Your Labs
Rollover images to visit our other forums!
Recent AnswersAsk a Question
  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

How long?

Oct 17, 2005

My basic question is how long can I expect to remain off of meds? I tested positive in 1996 with a viral load over 1,000,000 and t-cells in the mid 300s. Immediately started Crixivan by itself and within a few months was undetectable and t-cells were in the high 800s. After a couple of years, I switched to Sustiva only, because of kidney pain and viral load remained undetectable with t-cells in the 800s. In 2001 I came off meds completely because of cholesterol problems. After stopping it took over 6 months for my viral load to inch above undetectable. For the first couple of years, my viral load remained below 10,000 and t-cells stayed in the 800s. The last couple of years, my viral load had fluctuated from 10,000 - 30,000, except a low 2600 this past spring. My last test in August 2005, show a viral load of 50,000 and t-cells at 698. What is the longest period anyone has remained off meds?

Response from Dr. Holodniy

The studies to answer the question you pose, in people who have been on meds and then stopped are still being conducted. We know of many people who have never had to start, because their immune system was able to contain the virus replication itselt without meds. There are also people like you who been able to come off and maintain their CD4 count for significant periods of time, some continuing to stay off and some having to go back on meds because their CD4 counts declined. I don't think we know the final answer for how long one could stay off because it does depend on your underlying immune system and the virus you got.

CD4 and CD8
PCR vs. bDNA

  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

 Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS



This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.

Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.

Review our complete terms of use and copyright notice.

Powered by ExpertViewpoint