Jun 4, 2007
Response from Dr. Daar
This is an excellent question that comes up with some frequency. There is no single answer that is right for everyone and it really depends upon the circumstances.
There is general agreement that those who have had low CD4 cells or advanced HIV disease in the past should not stop therapy unless they have to, such as for severe side effects. In this case most will experience CD4 decline off treatment, regardless of where their numbers are on treatment.
Those who have never had low CD4 cells may be able to stop with continued follow-up. Nevertheless, recent studies of treatment interruption in those with undetectable viral loads has raised some concerns so there is a need for discussion between you and your expert provider with regards to the known risks and benefits.
For what it is worth, in general I do not recommend that those doing well on treatment stop therapy unless there is a good reason. Often there is, and that is okay but otherwise I encourage them to continue treatment.
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