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What options are out there when ART doesn't work?
Apr 28, 2008

Hi Dr. Sherer, As a response to one the earlier questions, you mentioned that in the current era of HIV treatment, 80-85% of people have a response to ART, with full viral suppression and rising CD4 cells. My question is simply what happens to the remaining 15-20% of HIV carriers? I am not on treatment yet and I don't know which category I will fall into once I start using the medications. Thanks for your response.

Response from Dr. Sherer

It is unusual in the current era NOT to be able to fully control one patients virus with successful ART. The 80-85% figure that I cited was for the most commonly used initial regimens, i.e. Atripla or a boosted PI with 2 NRTIs.

What happens if there is a lack of response with the initial regimen is that the individual is then switched to a second regimen that ALSO carries a likelihood of success of 80-85%.

And, as above, it is quite unusual in the current era to be unable to control an individual's virus with effective treatment.

I urge you to talk to your doctor about your concern and this response.


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