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Long Term Anti-Retroviral Therapy
Aug 13, 2006

Have there been any studies regarding long term use of anti-retroviral therapy? I have been on the same regimen (Combivir and Sustiva) for almost seven years.

Response from Dr. Conway

We now have information to show that people who experience good levels of virologic suppression shortly after starting HAART will almost always maintain this suppression after 7-8 years. Further, there does not seem to be any long-term toxicity of HAART other than the things we already know about. These are the issues of lipodystrophy/lipoatrophy, as well as side effects that may involve your cholesterol levels, that should be monitored regularly. More recently, we are recommending that bone density be checked (at baseline and perhaps every 2-3 years) due to the emergence of osteoporosis as a side effect of certain regimens, especially over many years.



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