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Oct 21, 2009

Been on meds for 7 months since 23 March 2009. initially on Lamzid (Zidvudine, Lamivudine), efavirenz. After 3 months viral load down from >500000 to 184000; Changed on 23 July 2009 to Truvada (Emtrictibine, Tenofavir), efavirenz. At 10 October Viral load was 105000. I have an extra month's supply of Truvada over and above what my med aid supplies each month. Can I nuke the VL for 30 days by doubling the Truvada - one dose on a 12 hourly basis? At this point CD4 is 287 (up from 24 in March 2009) and I am still asymptomatic.

Response from Dr. McGowan

Thanks for your question.

Usually we have people missing doses (which is a bad thing)., Taking extra doses also is not a good idea. The blood level will be adequate with one pill a day of truvada. All you will get is the possibility of extra toxicity and side effects without much benefit by doubling up.

Since we do not know how high your initial viral load was it may take some time to come down. If the trend does not continue to decrease then a drug resistance test should be done to be sure that you were not infected by a drug resistant virus that has grown out during treatment. There is not a significant drop between July and October, so it is important for you to have your viral load monitored closely to be sure it comes down.

Best, Joe

hiv test plus
2 Drs Conflict on meds

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