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STI Prospects

Mar 30, 2002

I have been HIV+ for 2.5 years. Started meds 20 weeks ago and went from VL of 935,000 to 44 in 16 weeks. CD4 zoomed up to 1154. What are the chances that my VL would increase dramatically if I stopped meds? I know that sometimes the VL jumps dramatically and in other cases it increases very slowly, allowing months or even years off the meds. Is there any way to know what will happen based on the initial response to meds? Thanks!

Response from Dr. Aberg

You did not state what your CD4 count was to begin with. There are several studies exploring structured treatment interruptions or pulse therapy which you may be interested in. Stopping your therapy will result in viral rebound. In fact some people experience a flu like illness a few weeks after they stop meds. I cannot tell you how soon you would experience viral rebound after you stop because it is variable and some individuals have remained undetectable for a few months, but most people rebound within a month. The question you are asking is a very important one and one we are trying to still define. If you have access to a clinical trial studying pulse therapy or structured treatment interruptions, I encourage you to learn more and see if this would be of interest to you.

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