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May 2, 2004

If one is infected with HIV and one adhears to his regimen, will he still progress to AIDS and die and how long can this progression take? also if one stops treatment after reaching undectectable how long can he live ?

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your question.

Assuming that you're fully adherent to a sufficiently potent HAART regimen, there shouldn't be progression to AIDS.

As for stopping treatment, it is clear that within a few weeks of stopping therapy, the HIV viral load will return to pre-treatment levels. CD4 cells will likely decline thereafter, and the time to which treatment should be resumed is dependent on what the current and lowest ever CD4 counts are and how high the viral load goes. After stopping (a sucessful) therapy, there's no reason to think that the regimen cannot be resumed in the future, so it's tough, therefore to predict how long someone will live simply because their treatment was stopped once. BY

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