Joel Gallant, M.D.
Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology, Division of Infectious Diseases, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
Taking antiretroviral therapy (ART) isn't as hard as it used to be. Simple, once-daily combinations are now the norm, and we may soon have a number of single-tablet regimens available. Side effects and drug toxicity haven't disappeared completely, but they're no longer inevitable.
Starting ART is sometimes a trial and error process, and drug switches may be necessary before you're on a combination that agrees with you. Before you start, make sure you understand how your meds should be taken, the possible side effects, and how to contact your provider if you have problems.
Making switches is OK, but stopping and restarting therapy can create resistance, so if there's a problem, don't stop treatment: Talk to your provider about managing side effects or switching drugs.