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Drug Combos and on going study
May 5, 2006

My Doctor suggested going onto medications next month after my vacation. She offered that i might consider going into a drug study (not only would they pay for my medications and labs but she says they are the most commonly used combinations.) I would just like another opinion. The two different combinations are Sustiva with norvir OR Truvada with Epzicom ( its hard to read her handwriting.) Now with enrolling in this study Im not told which drugs Im getting and with the checking of the lab work and such their ultimate goal is to find out which combo works better for who and why. Now my question is should I be a part of the study or is one of them better to start off with? These drugs will be my frist use of meds for the virus my CD4 is 252 and my VL is 216000.

Response from Dr. Henry

It sounds like a study like ACTG 5202 which compares Truvada versus Epzicom and Sustiva versus Norvir boosted Reyataz (all once a day meds). In ACTG 5202 at least you know whether you are receiving the Sustiva or NOrvir/Reyataz--only the Truvada versus Epzicom is blinded. I think it is a very good study and that all study arms are in wide spread use already in the US/Europe because they work and are well tolerated--thus I am comfortable recommending the study (your HIV blood test results don't seem to pose any particular challenge--I would check a resistance test to make sure that all of the study medications are active against your HIV strain). Good luck with your decision. KH



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