Dr. David: We have a question from Joe that says, I’m hearing a lot about switching. What’s the deal?
Dr. Demetre: You have some questions? We know HIV.
Dr. David: I’m a doctor. I’m trained for this.
Dr. Leandro: We’re gonna give you what you need.
Dr. David: When Joe talks about switching, what he’s referring to is actually someone who’s living with HIV taking their HIV medications and having a group of them before and trying to change to a more updated one or sometimes even having several pills that you have to take one or two times a day and then maybe switching it to one pill once a day. The concept of switching is a complicated one and one that you should discuss with your medical provider. Not everyone’s strains of HIV are the same and you may have some resistance to different medications, and so before you consider switching talk to your doctor and go over your labs. And usually what we’ll do is we’ll have you stop the other medication, start the new medication immediately and then follow you up in about a month and kind of see how your viral load and how your T-cell count looks. If you’re still undetectable at that point then we can continue with the new regimen. But it’s not something that you can just say, oh I want to switch so I’m going to go ahead and switch it. Talk to your medical provider, get some information, find out what HIV medications will work or won’t work for you and then you can take it from there.
Wanting to change up your HIV meds? Dr. David explains why you should always talk with your doc BEFORE switching your HIV treatment.
The concept of switching is complicated and something that you should discuss with your medical provider. Not everyone’s strains of HIV are the same and you may have some resistance to different medication.
#AskTheHIVDoc is a video series from Greater Than AIDS featuring top HIV doctors providing answers to commonly-asked questions about HIV prevention, testing and treatment.
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