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Patient Support When There's No Physician
Jan 6, 2008

I moved from LA to the Mojave Desert two years ago and have been visiting a doctor who has kept me on Sustiva & Truvada. I've been taking this regimen every 3 days because I can't take it every day and all my doctor says is to do what works best for me. I realize that he's not in step with HIV. He was supposed to refer me to someone who specializes in HIV but the soonest I can see someone is the ending of March. I can't afford to get to LA right now, but Sustiva is driving me nuts! I talked to a friend on the phone and he recommeded that I tell the doctor what regimen that I want to take and have him write the prescription. I suppose I could do that; the only thing I don't have that an HIV doctor has is experience with a cross-section of patients. What would you suggest?

Response from Dr. Daar

Taking your medications every 3 days is not a good idea and will put you are risk for developing resistant virus if you don't already have it. I think most providers would be uncomfortable recommending what medication you should take without knowing your current CD4, viral load and if you have detectable virus, results of resistance testing. If there are any delays getting you to a new provider you should ask your current doctor to contact a colleague for an over the phone consult to get the ball rolling as soon as possible. This could even be the person you have an appointment with in March. I am sure the March provider would want as much data be available as possible when you arrive in his/her office. You should do fine over the long haul but you do need to get things on track as soon as possible.

Best, Eric


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