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Advanced Stages -- The Bottom Line
Feb 21, 1997

Results discussed at the recently held "Fourth Conference on Retroviruses &amp Opportunistic Infections" seem to paint a rosy prognosis for HIV infected persons who begin triple therapy soon after infection. However, I'm unclear on how to read the results for advanced stages of the disease when treated with the complete arsenal. Specifically, let's assume that a year or two ago you might have projected a 6 month to 18 month survival for someone in the advanced stages not under triple therapy. What's the current prognosis for a similar individual now being treated aggressively with triple (or perhaps "quadruple") therapy? Hopefully expected survival is now significantly longer with a much improved quality of life? Thank you very much for this exceptionally helpful forum.

Response from Dr. Cohen

I don't now of any good survival estimates that reflect the advancements in antiretroviral therapy. The drugs have not been out long enough, and there is enormous variation in how people respond to these therapies. That variation is dependent on a variety of factors, including:

(1) whether the drugs are prescribed properly, in appropriate combinations



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