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Hiv Med to survive

It's possible that a Hiv+ person fails to find a cocktail of Meds that suit him? With right Meds, what is the average survival rate/period. Thanks
21 Responses
Avatar universal
  Is it possible to not take meds or a very limited amount of hiv meds?
Avatar universal
Most doctors won't start you on meds until you have a CD4 count less that 350 and an increasing VL. Limited amount of Meds? That depends on your resistant testing? I take one pill for HIV and I take 9 others with a liquid med for the problems HIV has caused. It just depends on what your ID doctor prescribes. It will cost you over a grand a month for meds as long as you don't have anything else wrong. My prescriptions for a year, not counting lab tests, doctor visits etc. is 66,000 per year.
Avatar universal
Wow - that is a lot of money in anyone's language. I take it (I hope you are anyway) you are insured and that that covers it. What happens to people who are not unsured in the States that cannot afford that kind of outlay. In the UK we have the NHS which offer treatment for HIV FOC.  Is there a fund or similar to support people who are +ve in the States? Sorry if this is a dumb question but I am curious.
Avatar universal
I wasn't insured. Those that are not insured or under insured can get help through several different programs here in the US.
Avatar universal
ok thanks Teak, that makes sense. Glad you have funding.
219662 tn?1223858560
These days it is unheard of to not find a cocktail that would suit an HIV+ person.
Many new medications have been approved recently, so strains resistant to those drugs don't exist yet.
Side effects are a different story
Avatar universal
I'm sorry but there are a lot of people waiting on the approval of the new meds because they are resistant to the ones available now. Not only are some people resistant they are allergic to some of the meds. Like I'm allergic to Kaletra. The last two approvals are Prezista 2006 and Atripla 2006 as far as I'm awhere there has been no new ones added to the market.
219662 tn?1223858560
You are right.  But things like Celsentry and Isentress got approved this year and they are brand new classes of drugs, so there shouldn't be any resistance, at least for Isentress.  It should be available for salvage therapy, if not now then very soon.  And more things are close to approval, TMC-125 for one could be a good alternative to Sustiva, which I understand you are having problems with?  Ask your doc, if you haven't yet.
219662 tn?1223858560
Forgot one thing - those who are resistant to all approved drugs can enroll in clinical trials for the many investigational drugs out there.  Not the safest option - but better than nothing.....
Avatar universal
None of those are available now. I'm not having any problems with Sustiva, I take Atripla ( (efavirenz + tenofovir + emtricitabine). Kaletra(Aluvia, lopinavir/ritonavir, LPV). There is no efavirenz in Kaletra.
Avatar universal
As far as trials goes most are always blind and you don't know if you are getting the medication or not. Trials are good for people that live close to the clinics because blood is drawn on some up to 3 times a week.
219662 tn?1223858560
Teak, I'm pretty sure Sustiva is part of Atripla.  Efavirenz is Sustiva.  And your problems (nightmares, etc) are typical for Sustiva.  

Also, you are taking Atripla AND Kaletra???  What's that, 5 drugs???  I don't know your situation, but seems like a LOT of drugs to me!!!  I would have a sit down with a doctor ASAP, if you haven't yet.  I think most people take Kaletra with 2 NRTIs, not with Sustiva.  This sounds like overkill!!!  Ask the AM folks, maybe they can give you an opinion, too.
219662 tn?1223858560
that should read "2 NRTIs, not with Atripla"
Avatar universal
Go back and read what I said. No where does it say I am taking both I said that I was allergic to Kaletra. NO where did you read that I said that. You also never read that I had nighmares. I've never had problems with Sustiva except with sleeping. It also counteracted Sporanox that was the reason they put me on Kaletra. That is why I now take Noxafil and Atripla. Get your facts straight. Don't try to tell me what is in my drugs. I know exactly what is in my medication, and there is no  efavirenz in Kaletra.
219662 tn?1223858560
Well, I misunderstood your post.  You said above "I take Atripla (..).Kaletra(...)".  It sounded like you were taking both, which was weird.  Never mind!
Avatar universal
Really I am amazed to see the cost of treatment. If I safely assume another 30% cost for Lab tests, doctor's visits etc,,, the annual expenses come close to 100K. Folks you are lucky, living in the United States where funding options are available even if you are not insured.

In my country, where average annual income is less than $1000, it is simply impossible even for filthy rich people to get medication and services costing them over 6 million in local currency. The only hope here, is the cocktail sets, manufactured in India under the generaric names and relatively cheaper and affordable. But the range is limited with fewer addition of new formulations.

Africa is even worst,, very small segment of infected population has access of the drugs.
Avatar universal
Really I am amazed to see the cost of treatment. If I safely assume another 30% cost for Lab tests, doctor's visits etc,,, the annual expenses come close to 100K. Folks you are lucky, living in the United States where funding options are available even if you are not insured.

In my country, where average annual income is less than $1000, it is simply impossible even for filthy rich people to get medication and services costing them over 6 million in local currency. The only hope here, is the cocktail sets, manufactured in India under the generaric names and relatively cheaper and affordable. But the range is limited with fewer addition of new formulations.

Africa is even worst,, very small segment of infected population has access of the drugs.
Avatar universal
I go this morning for my ID doctor visit and lab tests. My normal labs run 700 dollars. I don't know what the charge is for the Clinic's dr. visit.
219662 tn?1223858560
I think it will get much better as the companies start losing their patents and generic drugs can be produced.  The US patents last 7 years, or something like that.

But still you can't deny how much progress has been made!  No so long ago people took like 24 pills a day that still wouldn't work.  Now many take 1 pill a day and get undetectable viral load.  It's really amazing.
Avatar universal
The patent comment is a good one. But I would imagine that the challenge that lies ahead will involve creating even less toxic drugs. Apparently the new regimens, while far superior to the earlier ones, still can have some dreadful side effects. So remedying that will involve new, less toxic drugs. And that probably means new patents?

I don't know. Most HIV experts are in agreement though that massive strides have been made. Although I did once come across an interview on the Body with Dr. Bob, where he spoke of the disconnect between those who were suffering from the disease and the side effects of the drugs, and the clinicians prescribing them. The latter to some extent saw the new drugs are being the answer to most of the problems associated with the disease (short of a cure, which almost everyone agrees is unlikely anytime soon, if ever). But the former, Dr. Bob included would disagree on account of the dreadful side effects and the threat of drug resistance developing. It was a very insightful interview. I don't think we're supposed to post links but I can Pm it to you if you like
219662 tn?1223858560
Well, that is exactly what is happening, newer drugs are more potent and less toxic, and this trend will probably continue.  Think about it, why would companies produce new drugs if they were not better than already existing drugs?  Resistance is obviously one reason, but quality is also up there.  The drugs Dr.Bob talks about - nobody takes that anymore, not in the US anyway.  The ones used today are usually tolerated much better, even though there are always some side effects.  Most hardcore drugs can cause some sort of side effects, especially if you take them long enough, antiretrovirals are no different.
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