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How long?
Jul 19, 2001

Hi, I am positvi since 1986, never had OI's although for years I stayed at 150 CD4. When the viral load test was introduced here, 94, i had about 2000-3000. I was then on DDI/D4T. In 1996 I added a PI, after 2 weeks my viral load went below 50. In spite of not having started in 1996 with 3 completely new drugs, at 5 years I am still below 5O viral load. CD4 did nit raise very much, to about 200. How long can I expect to remain less than 50 viral load? regards from Belgium

Response from Dr. Little

Difficult to predict unfortunately - since you did not start a potent combination regimen in the ideal manner (ie. all at once), I would guess that the reason you have done so well is partly because your pretreatment viral load was not that high or your immune system was doing a pretty good job, despite a somewhat low CD4 at 150. That is, you may never have needed an exceptionally potent regimen. Having said this, I always try to pick the best possible regimen when we know that there is a better choice available. You need to balance the pros of picking a better regimen with the cons of adjusting something that appears to be working fine for you. I cannot tell you that you will fail your current regimen any time soon, but I think it would still be worth a serious discussion with your doctor to see if he/she thinks that there might be a better treatment choice out there for you now.


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