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Medication killing us?
Dec 14, 2005

I was told that the medication available to us (HIV + folks), in the long run will eventually damage our body systems so badly that we will not be able to continue to reproduce any additional cells, including CD4 cells. Is that true? It sounds absurd, butnot illogical?

Response from Dr. Wohl

Hogwash. These meds generally raise CD4 cells by reducing the amount of HIV in the body. Despite their know toxicity it is remarkable that people do as well as they do on these meds for as long as they do.

While we do not have data on what happens to humans who take these meds for 30 years, we do have data on those on these meds for 10 years or so and most are doing well. Sure, there may be a very small increase in risk of heart attacks and those with hepatitis C virus may experience liver problems - but this may not always be a result of meds as much as being able to survive HIV long enough to get these other problems.

Don't forget, new drugs are coming out all the time and to make money they have to be better than their predecessors and that includes better tolerability.

For me the calculus is easy: as long as the toxicity of HIV is much greater than the toxicity of the HIV meds, I'd go with the HIV meds.

DW



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