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20 year non-progresser, now on minimal HART

May 29, 2003

I've been HIV + for 20 years and never taken meds. In that time, my t-cells averaged about 325 and when I started checking viral load, it never went over 10,000 copies. 6 months ago that changed and hit bottom in January 2003 with CD-4 count of 160 and a viral load of 200,000 as well as symptoms of fatigue and intestinal parasites. Two months ago I started Combivir and Viramune. I wanted to be on the easiest program possible. Much to my Dr's surprise, my viral load was undetectable within two months and my cd-4 was back up to 260. My questions is this: How long should I expect this treatment to continue working and are there other issues that I should be aware of? -DT

Response from Dr. Young

I'm not sure why the big surprise, since Combivir/nevirapine is quite a potent, yet simple drug regimen to take. Provided that you're able to take the medications with excellent adherence, I'd expect things to work well for many years.

The key thing with all drug regimens for HIV remains adherence and routine monitoring for safety and efficacy of the medications. This means working hard on not missing doses of medications, or missing follow up appointments with your doctor. Good luck. BY

Drug holiday similar to a single missed dose?
Are people takingf meds still dying?

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