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What would you recommend?
Aug 12, 2003

Mr. Vergel,

Stay strong trooper. We are all pulling for you. Keep up the great work and will god always continue to bless you and keep you well in your effort. If you were needing to start therapy today, how would you go about it? Would you dedicate yourself to 3 meds and try to minimize side effects or would you go on and off in months?

Jim Horton in Tenn.

Response from Mr. Vergel

Very difficult question. I would get a genotype test to make sure I am not one ofthe 14 % that gets a pre-existing mutation. And, if I have around 350 CD4 cells and/pr 50,000 viral load or symptoms, I would take something that would work for a long time and give me minimum or manageable side effects. I would defer taking the "D" drugs for later (D4T, DDI, DDC). Combos like Viread (Or Viramune)+Kaletra+Epivir (or Emtriva) may be something I would consider if I had a wild type virus and was just starting therapy. I do not know if I would take a structure treatment interruption a year later; that would depend of my numbers and close monitoring of my doctor. I would exercise 3 times a week religiously, eat balanced meals, and manage stress also. I would take carnitine and omega 3 oils to manage any increased lipids that Kaletra may cause (plus exercise of course). Nelson



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