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Treatment Interruption
Jul 9, 2006

I switched health insurance in 2006 and the cost of my meds went up from $40 to $290 a month. This has become almost unaffordable with all other expenses. I can swicth back in 2007. I'm thinking about a 6 month drug holiday until I can better afford the meds. VL undetectable CD4 1200.

Response from Dr. Daar

I am sorry that your treatment decisions are in part related to insurance changes; however, I realize that these things happen. The safety of holding treatment would in part relate to what your pre-treatment CD4 cells were and whether you have ever been ill with complications of HIV infection. If your CD4 cells were never low and you have always been asymptomatic the risk of stopping treatment with regular follow-up should be low. Alternatively, if you had more advanced disease in the past the risk may be greater. Regardless, you do need to discuss this further with your current provider to further assess the overall risk of holding treatment for six months and the best way to discontinue therapy if you choose to do so. Best, Eric

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