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Holiday for a while??

Mar 17, 2002

Dear Dr's,

First, thanks for a truly valuable forum on HIV. I have been on med's (D4T,3TC,Effav)for 16 months now with great results. T-Cells from 200 to 780 VL 15K to undec. My question: if I were stop all meds and 'wean' my self off in an intelligent manner, would it be reasonable to assume that I might have months or even a year or two until the VL and CD4 goes to the danger point? Assuming I do not develop resistance, are there any other problems I need to be aware of? Would this combo work as well 'next time'? Thanks for you help.

Response from Dr. Aberg

Please see my answer to a similar question, "Do I need to continue treatment" similar question

For you, it is a little different because your CD4 count has been low. I would not recommend you stopping your therapy on your own. I am not sure what you mean by "wean" as one should stop all medications at once. Weaning usually refers to tapering off or decreasing doses slowly. This is not a good thing to do with HIV medications. Having too low of a dose may lead to drug resistance.

The problem with stopping HIV medications in someone like yourself who has had a low CD4 count is that your CD4 count may drop more quickly than someone who has never been below 400-500. I have not seen good results in my patients who had low CD4 counts and opted to stop therapy so I don't recommend my patients to stop therapy if their counts have been below 300. There are studies trying to evaluate stopping HIV medications in individuals who once had low CD4 counts. I would encourage you to enter a study if available. If there are no studies available, make sure if you decide to stop therapy, that you work with your health care provider and get monitored closely.

Do I need to continue treatment?
should i start again

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