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Is ziagen, videx and 3TC enough?
Jan 20, 2002

I'm currently resistant to most of the meds out there and I cannot tolerate the PIs or Sustiva due to major side effects. Current meds are ziagen, 3TC and videx. Viral load is around 10,000 and CD4 is 150. I feel fine, no OIs and poz for about 7 years. Do you believe the current meds I'm on are enough to at least keep my viral load somewhat safely under control? (without it getting dangerously high??!) I've thought about adding viramune, but worried about liver side effects...

Response from Dr. Little

Unfortunately, I would not predict that your current regimen will be sufficient to keep your viral load under control for very long. Resistance mutations are to be expected over time which mean that these drugs will not be able to sustain the control of your viral load (unless your viral load off therapy is also 10,000 - which would suggest that you already have resistance to these drugs). I would advise getting a drug resistance test and sitting down with your provider again to discuss alternatives. While there are people who absolutely cannot tolerate the protease inhibitors and non-nucleosides - I do believe that they are the exception. That is, some of the side effects are so severe that they require the use of additional medications (typically only for a month or two) to counteract the side effects of the antiretroviral medications. But, I think that with your CD4 cell count of 150, it is time to consider trying again.


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