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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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trying to be realistic
Nov 3, 2003

I am always amazed at the progress science can make, but at the same time I am trying not to be too optimistic about the future of HIV therapy. What are the chances of a 20 year old living in the US being diagnosed today with HIV after having seroconverted in the past year living a) to see HIV eradicated from their body b) to see a vaccine or something comparable that will allow them to safely stop therapy or c) being able to take therapy without having to deal with concerns of lipodystrophy or other stigmatizing side effects.


Response from Dr. Boyle

I'd say the chance for (1) is fair and (2) is good. As far as (3), individual medications and regimens will continue to improve, and preliminary data indicate that some regimens we already have are very low in side effects and rates of lipodystrophy. So, I think there are reasons for optimism regarding HIV treatment; however, it would be even better if the hypothetical 20 year old practiced safer sex and took other precautions that avoided HIV infection and eliminated the need for therapy all together.


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