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How to safely discontinue HARRT?


Hello Forum

Background: I have been POS since 1987 and took, first, AZT & Epivir, starting in 1994 and then Combovir from 1996 to 2007. I then stopped taking meds under doctors supervision (he said at the time it was ok and my choice) and have had good lab / blood counts through out my HIV history, with all undetectable and only below 500 T-Cell counts twice, with the most recent <500 result in 2015 just before I went on Stribild and later to my current med, Genvoya.

The reason for my question, is that I want a contingency plan, in case meds are temporarily unavailable for an extended period of time.

I had read somewhere, but since can't find source, that taking AZT after stopping HARRT helps. 

I am NOT asking this question to encourage any body to discontinue HARRT, just what to do if one has no choice.

Thanks so much in advance.

I look forward to replies.


Donnie C


--- Quote from: donniec6839 on March 09, 2022, 04:43:55 pm ---that taking AZT after stopping HARRT helps. 

--- End quote ---
nope, that's not correct at all. AZT is an ancient drug rarely used and not approved for first line treatment.

The best way to stop HARRT is to simply stop. Spacing out meds (to ease out of treatment or when running out) or taking another med - without it being a part of a full 3-drug regimen, can lead to resistance. That can ruin the regimen you're on if you want to go back or can ruin future regimens if that resistance is against components of other regimens.

If you're going to stop meds going cold-turkey is the best bet.

I could tell you all the blah, blah, blah about making sure to NOT stop meds but your doctor seems to have covered that. However, I have to encourage people to stay adherent as the two times I stopped meds (95, 97 due to major side effects and no other meds available) within 6 months I was in the hospital and nearly dying - literally dying... with PCP on both my 36th and 38th birthdays. I'll be celebrating 24 yrs since that last hospital visit when I turn 60 next week (which btw is when I will have lived literally twice as long as my first partner who died in 94. (whoa. wow))

maybe you if mention where you live, someone could offer some suggestions about how to not run out of meds. (for example in the USA you can refill scripts early and gain a extra dose every once in a while stockpiling up a stash or maybe just get hooked up with the state's Ryan white program)

if you can still edit your post, you should probably remove your personal info so you don't have issues with with all that out there. I already mentioned this to the moderators in case your edit time is expired ;)

Thank you Leatherman for your reply and contacting the forum admin.


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