Nov 19, 2001
What do you know about the current status and results of the CDC STI study (one week on, one week off). Why are such promising results not resulting in a broader-based study? If born out, this would be an extraordinary breakthrough, but all I hear from doctors is "its too tentative, too early and too small of a study." Meanwhile, people (like me) are dumping this toxic stuff into our systems at a rate that appears (based on early results) to be far too much. Another three years will go by before the DHHS changes the protocol and by that time hundreds of thousands of people could have horrible, permanent and disfiguring side effects. It will be too late then and the only response will be "well, we thought it would be better to be safe than sorry." But perhaps the most significant reason is doctors don't want to get sued for malpractice so they are overly cautious (and I don't blame them). The answer may be that patients may have to be more assertive ... I'm not sure. But I am sure that an appropriate cost-benefit analysis on this issue isn't being done. Thanks for your good work.
Response from Dr. Boyle
Well, I am not sure I agree with you about your impressions of why doctors don't use certain therapies. Doctors don't use those therapies yet because they are unproven - and the researchers at the NIH would be the first to tell you that. They are doing studies to confirm the effectiveness of structured intermittent therapy; however, the studies are small, the regimens are relatively restricted and the patients enrolled may not represent the general HIV-infected population. So, in this case caution is quite appropriate, in my opinion, especially since we have proven approaches that do work.
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