March #152 : The Ups and Downs of On and Off - by Laura Whitehorn

POZ - Health, Life and HIV
Subscribe to:
POZ magazine
Join POZ: Facebook MySpace Twitter Pinterest
Tumblr Google+ Flickr MySpace
POZ Personals
Sign In / Join

Back to home » Archives » POZ Magazine issues

Table of Contents

Zen and the Virus

Sex, Tourism and HIV

Staph Strains

No More Brain Drain?

Measure Up!

Surviving HIV in Prison

A (Much) Faster Test for Hepatitis C

Web of Support

The Word: Nocebo

The Ups and Downs of On and Off

Positive Chatter

Prostate Cancer and HIV: Treatable

On Your Mark, Get Set...Taxes!

About Face

Second Time Around

Rubber World?

Redemption Song

Southern Belles

Week On, Week Off

Editor's Letter-March 2009

Letters-March 2009

London Calling

Help Us Make History. Again.

GMHC Treatment Issues-March 2009

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

Scroll down to comment on this story.

email print

March 2009

The Ups and Downs of On and Off

by Laura Whitehorn

Many people with HIV have wondered whether treatment breaks—stopping and starting HIV meds—could lessen long-term med side effects and treatment fatigue. In 2006, the largest med-break study, SMART (Strategies for Management of Anti-Retroviral Therapy), showed that people who stopped meds when their CD4 counts topped 350, then restarted when counts fell below 250, had more drug side effects, non-AIDS related ailments and deaths than those who kept taking their combos. (According to a recent review, results were worst if breakers also had hepatitis B or C.) In December 2008, CASCADE, a large European study, reported that CD4 counts rose progressively slower after breaks.

Two smaller studies found, however, that breaks may work—in these particular conditions:

When people with high current CD4 counts (and never beneath 200) stopped meds at 700 CD4s, starting again at 350 (per the LOTTI study, led by Franco Maggiolo, MD, of Bergamo, Italy).

When people with high CD4 counts (average: 670) took weekend breaks from a Truvada (tenofovir and emtricitabine) plus Sustiva (efavirenz) regimen (per the Five On, Two Off/FOTO study, led by Cal Cohen, MD, of Boston’s Community Research Initiative).

Treatment breaks may get a break after all.

Search: treatment, medication, side effects

Scroll down to comment on this story.


(will display; 2-50 characters)


(will NOT display)


(will display; optional)

Comment (500 characters left):

(Note: The POZ team reviews all comments before they are posted. Please do not include either ":" or "@" in your comment. The opinions expressed by people providing comments are theirs alone. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Smart + Strong, which is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by people providing comments.)

Comments require captcha.
Please enter this number for verification:

| Posting Rules

Hide comments

Previous Comments:


[Go to top]

Facebook Twitter Google+ MySpace YouTube Tumblr Flickr Instagram
Quick Links
Current Issue

HIV Testing
Safer Sex
Find a Date
Newly Diagnosed
HIV 101
Disclosing Your Status
Starting Treatment
Help Paying for Meds
Search for the Cure
POZ Stories
POZ Opinion
POZ Exclusives
Read the Blogs
Visit the Forums
Job Listings
Events Calendar
POZ on Twitter

Ask POZ Pharmacist

Talk to Us
Has a pet helped you deal with your HIV?


more surveys
Contact Us
We welcome your comments!
[ about Smart + Strong | about POZ | POZ advisory board | partner links | advertising policy | advertise/contact us | site map]
© 2016 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved. Terms of use and Your privacy.
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.