The best regimen for me?
Jun 3, 2006
Hello, I have to take a stand now. I have been positive since 1991 and have been doing great. Just got last results today and my t-cells are 1345 and my viral load is now 10 yrs. undetectable. I started meds in 96 and was on Crixivan, epivir and zerit. I changed the crix to sustiva in 99 cus of the horror stories about lipodystrophy. Then i heard zerit was a leading cause of lipoatrophy, so i switched to sustiva and combivir. Now I am hearing that AZT is as bad as zerit, re. lipoatrophy. I have not had any problems with the meds I have taken, but am at my wits end with my smaller arms, legs and face. I have a friend who has been positve longer than I have and exhibits none of these symptoms. I have to believe that it is caused by the meds. Question? What meds are known not to cause lipoatrophy, cus I want to be on them.
Response from Dr. Pierone
Hello and thanks for posting. AZT is not as bad as Zerit in causing lipoatrophy, but it runs a close second. Discuss this with your doctor, but a reasonable switch would be to go to Truvada(Viread/FTC)/Sustiva, and then switch to the 3 in 1 pill of Viread/FTC/Sustiva when it comes out in a month or two.
It may take quite a while (months to years) to start seeing some improvement once you get off the AZT. But for facial lipoatrophy, Sculptra is an excellent treatment and the company (Dermik) has a liberal patient assistance program that has covered the cost of the agent for the great majority of my patients.
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