Which First-Line HIV Treatment Regimen Is Least Toxic? An HIV Doc Responds
June 27, 2016
The good news about starting HIV treatment these days is that, in areas with easy access to medications, people have a wealth of regimens to choose from that work well and are unlikely to cause serious side effects. In fact, the many options can make choosing between potential regimens feel like an exhausting, confusing exercise.
Fortunately, some of the world's foremost clinical experts on HIV are online and eager to help. On his personal Tumblr, Joel Gallant, M.D., M.P.H., a renowned HIV physician at Southwest CARE Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico, answers questions from people living with HIV on a number of issues, including concerns about first-line treatment options.
On June 5, an anonymous user asked:
He didn't mention two other excellent, recommended regimens, which in my mind are preferred in people who may sometimes miss doses.
It's important to remember that, although Gallant is one of the world's most respected HIV clinicians, these recommendations are his personal opinions. As he himself suggested in the above response, it's important that people's own doctors help them to decide which treatment option is best to start with. There are also plenty of additional issues to consider when starting HIV medications; potential side effects are just one of them.
The question and answer have been lightly edited for clarity and grammar.
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.
Myles Helfand is the editorial director of TheBody.com and TheBodyPRO.com. Follow Myles on Twitter: @MylesatTheBody.
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