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WHY CAN'T MY DR AND I GET IT TO
May 8, 2000

IN 1996 MY VIRAL LOAD WAS 700,000 YET I WAS HEALTHY AND ACTIVE--EVEN PERFORMED IN THE OPENING CEREMONIES OF THE OLYMPIC GAMES. FIVE YEARS LATER AFTER GOING THROUGH THE PROTOCOL OF COMBINATION THERAPIES WE CAN GET THE NUMBER OF THE VIRAL LOAD AS LOW AS 5000 BUT NEVER LOWER. WHY? MY AIDS RESEARCHER PHYSICIAN HAS REVERTED BACK TO COMBIVIR WHICH DID WORK. WHAT IS LIKELY TO HAPPEN IF I GO THROUGH ALL THE MEDS AVAILABLE? {MIKE, 51, HIV POS 9 YEARS AND HAVE NO SIGNS OF ONSET OF DISEASE}

Response from Dr. Holodniy

You don't indicate whether the addition of combivir resulted in your viral load getting to < 50, or resulted in you getting down to 5,000. You also don't indicate what your CD4 count is and whether it has been stable throughout this period. Have you considered resistance testing? It may very well be, depending on the length and type of combination exposures, that you have significant cross resistance to the meds. It is also possible that if your CD4 count is stable and your viral load is consistently detectable but not increasing, that you have a multiresistant, but weakened virus.

MH


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