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taking a break

May 21, 2004

i take sustiva, epivir and zerit..been taking since 2000. have been poz since 1990 and diagnosed with aids in 2000. my cd4 is 340 and t cell count is 1100..sometimes i am undetectable sometimes not. my doctor wants me to take kaletra but i am not really thrilled at the prospect of stating something new...also was wondering about taking a break from meds give my system a break? what are your thoughts.

Response from Dr. Lee

I am a little confused because a CD4 count and a T cell count are the same thing, but you write that you have different numbers (340 and 1100).

Whether or not to take a break is a difficult decision that depends somewhat on how low your CD4 cell count was at the lowest. Folks with very low CD4 cell counts at any point are at greater risk for very rapid progression of disease if they discontinue antiviral medicines.

If you are not usually undetectable you may well be developing resistance to the Epivir and the Sustiva (one mutation confers resistance with each of these medicines). That is probably why your doc is recommending changing to another regimen.

Be well.

t-cell count
conflict with a doctor

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