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stopping meds
Mar 16, 2004

If I stopped my meds, how long (days?) would it take for the viral load to "spike"?

Response from Dr. Sherer

While I'm willing to answer, I don't approve of the premise, i.e. I advise against stopping you meds on your own, without a doctor's knowledge and support.

That said, it takes about one week for the virus to appear in the blood, assuming you had achieved a viral load below detection before you stopped.

One reason to be wary of stopping your medications: the three drugs in the regimen have different 'half-lives' in the blood. For example, efavirenz and nevirapine last in the blood for two or more days, while the NRTIs are rapidly excreted within a matter of hours. So when you stop drugs, there is a risk of resistance while the one remaining drug is 'exposed', i.e. without the support of the other drugs. As above, before you stop your drugs, talk to your doctor.


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