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alternative to Combivir and Viread therapy
Feb 17, 2013

Dear Dr. Young,

I have been on Combivir and Viread for the past 7 years since the dignosis. I may be moving to S. Korea and Viread is not available thru insurance. What are the options for treatment and other things I should know before making the final decision. Thank you.

Response from Dr. Young

Hi and thanks for posting.

Seems like this might be an opportunity to update your regimen- triple nuke therapy is no longer recommended in the US or Europe, as there are more effective options. Likewise, AZT/3TC has fallen off of US treatment guidelines in favor of the NRTI combinations tenofovir/FTC (Truvada) and abacavir/3TC (Epzicom, Kivexa).

I visited Korea a few months ago- there are very good HIV doctors and care providers in Seoul. I'm sure that Combivir and Epzicom/Kivexa is available there. These medications are frequently combined with efavirenz (Sustiva, Stocrin) both here and abroad. Other alternatives to efavirenz are also possibilities, including NNRTIs (nevirapine) or protease inhibitors.

It would seem to me that connecting with a good care provider in Korea would be a good first step- then work with him or her to identify the best options for your particular health circumstances.

I hope that helps, BY



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