Question

I recently went off all meds due to mild pancreatitis. I am restarting meds in the next couple of weeks. I have very low t-cells..(20) and was wondering if there is any benefits/risks to being off drugs for 12 weeks so that my virus can return to wild type. and then restart meds.

Answer

While this is still a somewhat controversial area, I do not personally believe that there is a significant benefit to having 12-16 week drug holidays or treatment interruptions to allow the virus to revert to wild type. The resistant variants always remain, just at a level too low for our standard tests to detect. Upon re-initiation of treatment, the resistant variant is typically rapidly selected again. Also, there is now an increasing amount of data on the risk of stopping treatment when your T-cells are so low and the risk of actually developing an opportunistic infection while off treatment. So, while you may find others with different opinions, I would not recommend treatment interruptions with your low T cells.