Answers from Dr. Kaiser
I have been HIV(+) for four years now and I have been doing very well (I think). My viral load has been undetectable for a 4 years (except at first detection of the virus). My T-cells have ranged from 1640 down now to 1260, I am currently on Viracept and Combivir as I have been since the beginning... all my labs area great, so all is good... My question is this... do you think I should stop taking my meds all together? In my opinion I am doing very well with having no side-effects from the meds or anything like that... so my thinking is if it is working why stop? But, some think the long term effects of me taking the meds could cause problems for me down the road... To me if I keep my HIV in check I will be in better shape, then risking trying to keep it balanced later with interruption therapy later... What do you think?
Thank you! Todd
Dr. Kaiser replies:
Hi Todd. You ask a very important question with ramifications for many HIV(+) people who are currently taking antiviral meds. The basic question is, "If I am on antiviral medication and my labs have been perfectly normal for a while (CD4>500, VL undetectable), is it possible for me to stop taking the meds (go on a treatment interruption) and see what happens? Especially when long term toxicity might increase with every year I keep taking them?"
This is a question on many patients minds. I have very clear guidelines for you to follow if you are interested in taking a break and, not only seeing what happens but, giving yourself at least an 85% chance of staying off the meds for at least 3 years with complete good health and stability. I have been covering this very issue in detail in my recent lecture series. I also plan to utilize an E-Newsletter to cover this issue in more detail in the future.
For now, let me say that I have no doubts that you can give going off meds a try (with your doctor's supervision of course), but not until you put in place what I am calling "The Kaiser Protocol". It is a 4 part natural immune support program that supports the basic pillars of immune system in this situation. They include the following:
1. The Immune Enhancement Diet -see slide set
2. K-PAX Vitamins - at the correct dosage based on your weight
3. Hormone Balancing - as covered in my E-newsletter series from Jan 2004 through June 2004
4. Parasite Elimination there is no such thing as a good parasite, get tested and treat them if any are found
My patients who are following this program have experienced an 85% success in rate in staying off their meds for at least 3 years providing they start off with excellent numbers (CD4>500, VL undetectable). Monitor initially by getting your viral load tested monthly, and if it continues to look stable you can lengthen that to 2 and then 3 months between labs. Then, follow your CD4 cells and don¹t go back on meds unless they fall below 350 cells/mm3 (as long as you are feeling well).
Good luck and let me know how you do.
The e-newsletter is filled with useful information on treating immune system conditions.
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