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Which Combo?
Oct 7, 2003

I am 34 and was diagnosed one year ago. With four blood work-ups under my belt my CD4 has been consistent and averaged 818/29. My viral load has been 170k, 115k, 150k, and most recently 490k. My doctor has stated that I should start medication by the end of this year.

Can you share some thoughts on these combo's and provide your comments...I guess I am looking for "second opinions" for piece of mind.

My doctor has given me several combinations to review. I am healthy otherwise with no chronic or family issues. I of course am lost in a sea of information and opinions. The two options that I am leaning toward is a combo of Kaletra & Combivir or Trizivir & Sustiva. I have also looked at a combo of Sustiva/Epivir/Viread.

Response from Dr. Conway

All of the combinations you put forth are excellent ones and will work if you take them. If I were you, the key questions I would ask myself are these two:

1. How and when do I want to take my pills? Is once a day important, or is twice a day OK? Do I need to take any of the pills fasting or with food? Does this combo meet my expectations?

2. What is the most frequent and/or severe side effect of each of the medications in my combo? If it happens (and knowing that it will go away when I stop the medications), how will this affect me?

Of course, the issue of long-term toxicities must also enter into this, but there are so many unknowns now that our knowledge may well have changed a lot by the time this comes up for you.

On another note, many would NOT start HAART until the CD4 count is in the 200-350 range, so you may wish to be very clear on why you are thinking about starting in the near future.



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