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How about a 'practice' or 'rehearsal' HAART kit?
May 19, 2003

Hi Doctor. Based on the information in The Body, it seems that strict adherence to any HAART regimen is one of the best ways to stave off drug resistance.

It also seems that there are a lot of patients who aren't adherent because of the inconvenience of their regimen.

So, wouldn't it make sense for someone to develop a "practice kit" (using sugar pills or something) for patients to try out for a month or two before going on HAART?

While taking the sugar pills, a patient could find out firsthand the demands of taking medication on a strict timetable, and might be able to work out the 'kinks' in their schedule.

Of course this wouldn't help with non-adherence due to side effects, but it might help a lot of patients get used to planning their schedule around their medications, without any risk of missed doses and drug resistance.

What do you think about this?

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your question and commentary.

I agree with you that for some persons, a dress rehersal medication kit would be a useful training tool for adherence.

Indeed, I know of some large clinics that have used this tactic from time to time (Denver Health, for example). BY

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