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Dec 21, 2002

my gf was diagnosed to be hiv + last november. since then she has been given retrovir medication by her doctor. please let me know the efficacy of this drug?

i dont seem to see any mention of this retrovir drug being used. is it outdated?

are there any newer n more effective drugs she can consider so that i may inform her and her doctor?

i am aware that in certain poorer countries, the medicine available may not be as updated as that found in the USA or European countries.

please answer as soon as possible as i honestly want her to live as long a life as she possibly can.


Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your question.

Retrovir is the trade name for zidovudine (ZDV or AZT). The drug is found as a component of the fixed-dose combination medications Combivir (with lamivudine,3TC) and in Trizivir (in combination with 3TC and abacavir).

The drug is most commonly prescribed in one of the fixed-dose combinations- to be used as a part of three-drug regimens.

Your comments suggest to me that you might not be living in the US or Europe-- here a single drug regimen would not be considered sufficiently potent to suppress HIV. Indeed, single drug therapy with ZDV was used in the pre-HAART era; the major effect was the generation of significant levels of drug resistance and only limited clinical benefit.

To this extent, if your friend is only receiving ZDV monotherapy, I would suggest that this is outdated (while the drug itself, is not).

The key point here, is that there are a number of approved medications for the treatment of HIV infection. They should always be used in three- or four-drug combinations in order to prevent early treatment failure and drug resistance. The details as to which drugs are available depend a lot on which country you live in.

I hope this is a useful start. Please feel free to write back and let us know how things turn out (it would be very important to know what country you live in). Good luck. -BY

HIV vaccine
hiv treatment

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