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Please help, I just started medication
Jul 25, 2004

Please can you help, I was diagnosed 6 years ago and My Viral load has always been OK but now It has gone down to 100 and My Doctor has put me on Combivir and 600mg Sustiva. I asked him if I can stay with the combivir as I am OK with it and replace the Sustiva but he says there is only 1 more choice? He wants to start a complete new combo from group three is this OK. I am new to all this med info. Also have I still got many more choices of Medications to try. I must add I feel as fit as I ever have and not been ill at all. Please help

Response from Dr. Lee

It does not make sense that your doc says you have only one more choice of therapy. Have you been on several previous regimens? Also, I think you meant to say your Tcell count (rather than viral load) "has always been OK but now It has gone down to 100". We like to see a very low viral load,, but a Tcell of 100 is a bit concerning because it indicates progressive failure of the immune system.

There are other choices. For example, continuing Combivir and replacing Sustiva with Viramune is one option that should control the virus as well, with different (if not fewer) side effects.

The fact that your doctor seems to be relying on the recommendations (as indicated by your statement: "He wants to start a complete new combo from group three") makes me wonder how experienced your doctor is. You may want to ask and to consult an experienced doc.

Unless your current regimen is failing (with a high viral load and thereffore probable significant resistance) you do not have to switch to a complete new combo, but can simply swap one drug of the regimen.

Be well.



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