Should You Change a Treatment Regimen That's Working? An HIV Doc Responds
May 25, 2016
We currently have an abundance of HIV treatment regimens to choose from that can keep your viral load undetectable. For those who are doing well with a treatment regimen and have achieved an undetectable viral load, you might think, "Don't fix what's not broken." But what happens if your doctor recommends a change in your regimen, such as taking a break from one or more drugs?
On his personal Tumblr, Joel Gallant, M.D., M.P.H., an HIV doctor at Southwest CARE Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico, answers questions from people living with HIV who are concerned about a number of issues, including partial drug holidays and switching meds.
On May 8, 2016, an anonymous user asked about his boyfriend, who has been taking Prezista (darunavir) + Norvir (ritonavir) + Viread (tenofovir) since 2012 and has had an undetectable viral load since then. At the boyfriend's last doctor's visit, the doctor told him to stop taking Viread one month before his next blood test. The questioner asks if his boyfriend should follow this recommendation, saying, "Is this safe for him?"
Gallant answered (with supplementary drug names provided):
Have you experienced a similar situation of questioning whether or not to switch a regimen you're doing well on? What did or would you do? Discuss in the comments section below.
Joel Gallant, M.D., M.P.H., is the associate medical director of specialty services at Southwest CARE Center in New Mexico. You can ask him a question directly on his Tumblr page, Ask Dr. Joel.
Warren Tong is the senior science editor for TheBody.com and TheBodyPRO.com. Follow Warren on Twitter: @WarrenAtTheBody.
This article was provided by TheBody.
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