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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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can I stop treatment?
Apr 2, 2008

I started Atripla about 12 days ago. When I started it I had a viral load of 6,200, and a CD4 count of 306. I am 48 years old, otherwise healthy male. I didn't question my doctor about the decision to start meds, which I should have. Since taking Atripla, I have sufferred through the dizzyness and now I am covered neck to knees in a rash. My doctor wants me to stay on meds. I think I should stop meds and start again when my CD$ count is below 270, and/or viral load over 25,000. If I stop now and wait until those numbers are reached, what is the likelihood that is a bad decision, and the 12 days will significantly affect my changes of having Atripla be effective when I restart. Am I making a bad decision?

Response from Dr. Henry

Stopping Atripla could lead to development or resistance and put you at some risk for a variety of clinical problems so continuing meds is generally the prudent option. If you continue to have rash or be bothered by dizziness then a switch off the efavirenz to an alternative drug (such as a boosted protease inhibitor)is often a reasonable course to consider with your HIV specialist. KH

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