Get tested Experts advisea viral-load test. Undetectable? Let the break begin! 1,000 copies ormore? Get a phenotype or genotype test—you might have to cancel yourholiday. Set a budget Decidewhich numbers will trigger a return to your regimen. Expert advice:When viral load exceeds 100,000 or CD4s drop below 200, head home. Or,as Philadelphia AIDS researcher Luis Montaner, DVM, says, set aCD4-count limit about 15 percent above your nadir. And everyone agreesthat what Sax calls “all those nonspecific cruddy feelings we used tocall AIDS-related complex” should send you back to Doc. Early-bird specialThe general rule is to drop all your meds all at the same time, butsince the non-nukes (Sustiva, Viramune) stay in your body longest, ifyou’re on them, stop them some days before the rest of your combo toavoid resistance.
Cleared for Takeoff