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Initial Treatment with Sustiva and Kaletra

Jan 2, 2004

I tested positive in Oct 2003 with CD4 of 500 and viral load of 248,000. Doctor recommended immediate treatment. I am enrolled in a study, and was randomized to begin treatment with Sustiva (600mg) and Kaletra (4 pills twice daily) only. Initial results after 3 weeks are good (viral load <100,000) after initial severe rash, and I am a strict adherer to taking my meds and feel I always will be, but I am still very worried by what I read about treatment failure and future possiblities if I start on this treatment regiment. Am I unduely risking future options by starting on this combination? If so, is it safe to stop and switch to something more "conventional" to begin? Thanks!

Response from Dr. Pierone

This regimen is very potent and if you have high level adherence it is not likely to fail. If you do run in to challenges with adherence, resistance will surely develop down the Sustiva pathway and would not compromise your options for protease inhibitors and nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors. Just watch your lipid levels (cholesterol and triglycerides) on this combination. Good luck!

newly diagnosed with neuropathy
Sustiva and Combivir study

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