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Drug Resistance in Prison
Apr 3, 2006

Dear Doc-

I was infected by a man who was treatment naive, but had a lot of inherited resistance. We are both resistant to most PIs and many NRTIs. Hence, when we both started treatment, our doctors independently started us on Retrovir, Truvada, and Sustiva. This has been an effective combination for me, and my viral load is now undetectable.

My concern is that my old partner is now in jail, and the staff only gives him Retrovir once a day with Truvada and Reyataz which replaced the Sustiva (we are not resistant to Reyataz). Is the once a day retrovir dosing something we should be concerned about? Isn't Retrovir supposed to be taken twice a day?

Thank you so much for your time.

Response from Dr. Daar

I am glad to hear that you are doing so well despite having acquired drug resistant virus. You are correct that Retrovir, also known as zidovudine or AZT is generally given twice daily. There have been some studies using it once daily as part of combination therapy, but the experience is limited so most providers have not used the drug in this way.

I would recommend that your old partner discus his treatment and the dosing with the healthcare providers overseeing his medication.

Thank you for writing.

Eric


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