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How long is a Drug Holiday Safe
Apr 3, 2000

I have been HIV+ for around 10 years and been taking meds for around 5 years. I tried a lot of combinations of drugs until my Doc found Zerit, Videx, and Hydroxyurea that worked. I have been on this cocktail for almost 2 years with great results. My T-Cells have stayed around 400-500 and Viral Load <500. I've also been a Diabetic for 20 years and have worn the Insulin Pump about 13 years. My last test results are T-Cells are 393, Viral Load at 42K, and Hemoglobin A1C is 6.6. My Doc told me to take a Drug Holiday while he ran a Genotype test. Since this test takes a few weeks, how long is it safe to be on a drug holiday?

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Preliminary data suggests that resistant virus reverts back to wild type (without drug mutations) in about 8 weeks. Wild type virus appears to be more cytopathic (kills CD4 cells faster) than resistant viruses. People on drug holidays for up to 12 months have had in general, modest increases in viral load and modest to significant decreases (50-200)in CD4 count. There will probably be no significant changes during the time you are waiting for the test results.


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