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Please explain
Jun 30, 2008

I just overheard patients saying that when they receive treatment and their cd4 rise to 900 they stop, and go for check ups every three months if the the cd4 drops again under 200 they will re-start meds?!

Is that possible?

Response from Dr. McGowan

That approach was tried in a very large clinical trial called "the SMART Study". The study compared continuosly taking meds with taking them only when the CD4 count dropped to 250 and stopping when the counts hit 350. The study had to be stopped early because the continued treatment group did so much better than the on/off treatment group...they had better survival from HIV and non-HIV related conditions. Based on that study and others about treatment interruption we would not recommend that strategy.

Thanks, Joe


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