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drug failure
Dec 21, 2001

dear dr, on the news the other day they were talking about the hiv drugs failing after 10 years or so. im on viracept and combivar. im very scared. do you think that i will be able to live a full life well pass the retirement age? do you think there will be a cure for hiv in the next few years or so? also ive haerd that there is a drug that has been researched that was discovered from the bark of some tree in the rain forest, that makes and forces hiv to come out of it,s hiding places were drugs can,t get thru. the present drugs just cleans the blood but can,t go were it hides. it also says that this drug also prevents hiv from infecting healthy cells can you please explain?

Response from Dr. Henry

Many of the recent news reports were difficult for patients to interpret. If a person is doing well (highly suppressed with HIV RNA < 50 copies with few if any blips) on Combivir/Viracept then the failure rate each year is low. If you haven't been on many drugs previously then you also should have many treatment options for later use. A number of new drugs and some new classes of drugs are under development. None of the drugs soon to be available are likely to flush the virus out of its hiding place effectively. A cure still seems unlikely for the near future but very long-term control seems very attainable. KH



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