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clinical trials and resistance?
Nov 1, 2003

Dr. Young,

I am a confused patient who is quite ignorant to the whole treatment interruption and resistance issues. If one's cd4 count drops to 250 and medication is started can it only be continued for say 6 months until cd4 goes to say 400 and then stopped again? Or is resistance bound to occur? And this is why people die right or wrong?

Jenny

Response from Dr. Young

Provided that you are started on potent medications and are able to take them with excellent adherence, there is only a very, very small risk of developing resistance. On the other hand, suboptimally-potent medications or medications that are poorly taken will almost assuredly cause the selection of drug resistance.

The issue of stopping therapy after CD4 counts rise to a certain value is currently being explored. It appears that for some persons (but I wouldn't go out on a limb to say everyone), this can be a viable option; particularly for those persons who are unlucky enough to have to put up with unacceptable side effects. BY



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