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First Line Treatment
Mar 31, 2004

Viread, Epivir, and Sustiva - what are your thoughts as the starting point for this therapy? If I am religious and never miss a dose how many years can I look forward to being on this? if we now measure life expectancy in decades what is the lieklyhood of being on these for 20 years +?

Your loyal reader doctors- thanks for your opinions and help they are beacons in the night for all of us.

Response from Dr. Conway

Thank you for your kind comments on the site.

As far as the treatment you propose, it is exactly the treatment that was used in study 903, that led to the licensure of Viread. It has produced excellent results, with 99% of people who were taking their pills over two years maintaining full virologic suppression. The regimen can be taken once a day. With Gilead to produce a combination pill of Viread and Emtriva (Emtriva being very similar to Epivir), the whole regimen could be as simple as two pills at bedtime.

As far as how long the benefit will last (beyond the 2-3 years that we know about), this is speculation. However, it is my strongly held belief that it is likely to allow for you to live long enough to have a normal life span. What I tell my newly diagnosed patients these days is that it is likelier than not that they will go on to die of something other than HIV.



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