Aug 24, 2001
I saw a show on T.V. that said you had to make a lifetime commitment to taking the pills involved with the cocktail,(some for the actual virus and some to help with the side effects of the first) , and if you ever missed a day,you would get full blown aids, is this true?
Response from Dr. Pavia
At this point, treating HIV infection is a lifelong committment. Will that change at some point? Who knows.
Taking medication faithfully is key to success with HIV drug combinations ("cocktails" is not my favorite term - cocktails are usually more fun and are something you do in moderation). Missing doses is one of the most important reasons that the virus breaks through and treatment fails. If enough treatments fail, you will likely progress to AIDS.
The TV show was exagerating, as usual. Missing one day out of many years will not lead to all drugs failing. However, our best estimate is that you need to take on average about 95% of your doses. That means, if you are taking meds twice a day for a month, you could get in trouble if you miss more than about three to five rounds of meds. That does mean you have to be very comitted.
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