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missed medication
Apr 6, 2013

What happens if I cannot get my medication on time. Its been almost a month since I had my medication. I have a schedule Dr. appointment before I can get my meds.

Response from Dr. Young

Hello and thanks for posting.

While a treatment interruption isn't generally recommended, it's by no means the worst thing. So long as you stopped all of your HIV medications simultaneously, there's little risk in developing drug resistance (such as happens when you continue to take only 1 or 2 HIV meds).

After a few weeks of treatment discontinuation, it's likely that the virus will reappear in the blood (and other body fluids). When this happens, some individuals will develop (once again) symptoms similar to acute HIV infection (often a flu-like syndrome) and HIV viral load tests will become detectable. Also, with the rebound in HIV, CD4 cell counts will decline somewhat- the extent depends on how long you stay off your meds. In a single month, I wouldn't expect dramatic changes. Lastly, with the detectable viral load, the risk of of transmission of HIV returns.

So, overall, a single month off isn't a big deal, but take the episode as a learning moment, to make sure that you remain engaged in care and schedule follow up appointments before your medications run out.

Be well, BY

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