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HIV treatment

Jun 25, 2008

My wife detected positive four months back with CD4 count 150 and viral load 750000. As she was on treatment of TB doctor advised to wait for three months.Treatment started from 3/5/08. at that time viral load was 150000 and CD4 62. Doctor has adviced two tablets of Duovir and one 600mg tab of effervin. She has responded well and general health has improved. She has tolerated the medicines without any visible side effect and has gained weight.Is this treatment is correct. What is her life exectancy ? Does patient develops resistance to medicines after some time and medicines have to be changed ? Whether there is any possibily of development of a permanent cure in near future ?

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your post.

I'm glad to hear that your wife has had successful initiation of TB and HIV treatment. It is usual to wait to initiate HIV treatments to get the TB under control, but (for others) it's very important to make sure that the HIV medications do indeed get started.

Duovir (AZT +3TC, "Combivir) is a commonly used medication in the developing world, and until this year was also part of recommended first line treatments for HIV. Efavirenz (Stocrin, Sustiva) is a work horse and highly recommended third drug for HIV treatment around the world. Hence your wife's regimen is very likely the gold standard in your country.

Your wife's life expectancy, provided that she continues to be adherent and has access to medications and care should be very, very good. If she doesn't miss doses, her risk of developing drug resistance is very low- probably less than 5% in the first year, and much lower thereafter. Depending on where you live and certainly here in the US or Western Europe, there are also a wide variety of medications that can be used in the event of drug resistance, so that successful second line therapy can be possible.

As for the cure notion, we are sadly a very long way away from this goal- in the meanwhile, HIV medications can prevent AIDS progression and should prevent death from HIV.

Best of health to you and your family,


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