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How many antivirals are needed?
Oct 9, 2007

My doctor recently put me on acyclovir & is considering adding Epivir. I'm wondering if there are instances where only 2 antivirals are used instead of three to keep viral load in check? Most of the literature i've read seems to infer that there's a 3 drug minimum for the cocktail to work most effectively. What is your opinion on this? The acyclovir is working very well & my doc is hoping the epivir will get me even more quality of life (i'm already on about 8 other meds but none of them HIV meds - all for systemic symptom management). Thank you very much. C-

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your post.


Acyclovir is a medication used to treat herpes virus, not HIV. Epivir (3TC, part of Combivir and Trizivir) is an HIV medication (also used to treat hepatitis B).

Under no circumstances should monotherapy for HIV be used in the US. All HIV treatments involve the use of 3 or 4 medications, sometimes available in combination medications that reduce the total number of pills.

I think you need to ask your doctor about what literature he or she is reading and consider looking for a new healthcare provider who knows a little more about HIV.

Write us back and let me know how this turns out. BY

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