Jan 27, 2003
I have been poz for 9 years and started treatment immediately upon diagnosis in April of 1994. I have never had a viral load and my cd4 has never dropped below 700. Very good physical health, very active, and just a minute bit of lypodystrophy. I currently take only Combovir and Viracept but have taken AZT and Crixivan in the past. My doctor, an infectious disease specialist, has left the option of going on a drug "vacation" up to me. My last count was 877 and he said if I had just been diagnosed, he would refuse treatment to me because of the count, which led to the discussion of going on a vacation. We would watch my counts every three months to make sure that nothing drastic happens but what I want to know is what factors would need to come into play in deciding to start treatment up again? What is the lowest CD4 count you would want to see before stopping the hiatus? And the, whatvdrug regimen would you suggest I start afterwards?
Response from Dr. Boyle
I think it is reasonable for you to interrupt therapy with careful monitoring, at least initially. I would consider restarting therapy if your health deteriorated or when your CD4 got to <350, but this would also depend on how quickly your CD4 count was changing and what you wanted to do. When you restart, I would suggest a simplified regimen, once-daily regimen. At the point where you have to restart you should have multiple options including PIs (atazanavir or fosamprenavir) or an NNRTI (efavirenz) with 2 NAs (lamivudine, tenofovir, ddI or stavudine XR).
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