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Stopped medication
Nov 16, 2004

Just a hypothetical question. If someone has not been on HIV medication for over 3 years and started medication again would it be like they where never on medication before? Also, will the previous medication be still in their system?

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your question.

If I understand your query, a person who restarts medications after a prolonged treatment holiday essentially resumes their previous treatment status-- that is to mean that if you were on your first treatment regimen before (and were undetectable at time of treatment interruption), you'd "qualify" as someone who continues to be taking their first regimen (as if they were treatment naive or had never been on treatment before).

By constrast, if there was reasons to suspect drug resistance at the end of the previous drug regimen (like having a detectable viral load despite good treatment adherence), then I would consider the next regimen as potentially a "subsequent" or "salvage" regimen.

While some medications (NNRTIs) may persist for several days (or even a few weeks) after treatment interruption, the majority of medications cannot be detected in the body after only a couple of days.

Good luck, thanks for reading. BY

Drug Holiday

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