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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Holiday over?
Dec 1, 2003

I am HIV for 4 years already. I am 46 years old. My doctor and I decided to take a drug holiday in March of 2002 since my VL was undetectable and CD4 count was 700. I was taking then Sustiva, Epivir and Zerit. Now... Nov. 2003 my VL is 100,000 and CD4 of 570. Should I start meds again? I am experiencing very bad itch in my hands and feet, don't know what is causing it. My Dr. gave me that test that shows what you are inmune to, and it shows a few choices. We discussed the choices and since I want minimal side effects and fuller life we got to the conclusion of taking Viramune, Epivir and Ziagen. knowing that Ziagen might give me a reaction but we just have to see. Is it time for me to start again and with that regimen??? Please help me. Can Iwait longer??And thank you for all your hard work in educating and simplifying our understanding to what we are going through. God Bless you.

Response from Dr. Conway

Thanks for your kind thoughts about our site.

In short, you can wait. Most people feel that, once you have stopped, you can wait until your CD4 count is back to 350. In fact, if it was never below 350, you may not need to restart for quite a long time.

So, unless there is an easy choice of a regimen for you and you are very anxious to restart, there's nothing wrong with waiting.

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