Intensify treatment

In rare circumstances, you may be able to add a single new drug to your existing ART. 

This can include:

  • Adding a drug you have never used.
  • Adding a drug you have already used but which may still work, perhaps becasue you did not develop resistance.

You should only aim to intensify by adding a completely new drug while your viral load is still falling or if it has stabilised.

If you intensify after your viral load has started to rebound or when it is higher than 500 copies/mL, you may be adding monotherapy to a failing combination. This risks developing resistance to the new drug.

You can also intensify by boosting current drugs, for example by:

  • Add a drug that boosts the levels of one of your current drugs
  • Increase the dose of a drug. This is usually only if drug level monitoring (see TDM (Therapeutic Drug Monitoring) has shown that you do not have high enough drug levels using the regular dose.

If it is done early, intensification may reduce viral load below detection again.

Last updated: 1 August 2021.