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Trial TMC 278 or not
Dec 31, 2010

I take Kaletra and Epzicom. Been undetectable for four years. Have good health insurance. My doctor asked me if I wanted to take part in the trial of TMC278 + Truvada that is taking place these days. I told her I would think about it. She's on Christmas holidays for two week now, just when I actually have time to think about it (with school out; I'm a teacher). I am willing to contribute to "the community" by being part of the research; this would be my only motivation, really: giving back to the community, honoring those who were the pioneers of HIV medicine trials in the 80's and 90's. Somebody has to do it, and we have them to thank for being those somebodies and the medicines we have today.

I just wonder: If I for some reason had to drop out of the trial, say because the TMC 278 + Truvada single pill a day just didn't do the job for me ( e.g. I started showing a detectable load, or I had an undesirable reaction or side effect; or if I moved and there was no trial location in my new area) . . . . would I be able to return to my Kaletra / Epzicom regimen? Or, am I closing the door on the regimen once I've gone off it to participate in the trial?

Response from Dr. McGowan

As you suggest, switching becomes more challenging if there have been prior treatment exposures and the development of HIV drug resistance. In your case, going on the trial that provides you with the opportunity to take a "once daily pill study" might be a consideration if I am interpreting the information in your question correctly: in that Epzicom and Kaletra is your first regimen. Your doctor should guide you through the process and answer your questions and concerns. Going back to your existing regimen "if there is a problem" depends on the "problem" you experience on the trial e.g. side effects versus drug resistance. Again, this is something you should discuss with your doctor. Thanks Joe



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