Q and A

Question

Can I restart on Trivenz after a break?

Hi, I’m a 29 years old male and was diagnosed HIV positive when I was 20.

I was not on treatment since then until last year when I diagnosed with TB. It was difficult to believe that I was HIV positive until when I got sick last year and my CD4 was 87. I finished TB treatment for 9 months and started taking Trivenz. When I was about to renew my script for HIV treatment I realized that I didn’t have funds on my medical aid but was able to take bloods reviews.

My doctor refused to renew the script for me and I was struggling financially. I stopped taking treatment for 2 months and was able to see my doctor again to renew my script when I got cash. My results showed that my CD4 was on 180 when I went for bloods reviews 2 months ago and my doctor advised that I continue taking Trivenz now after being off on treatment for two months.

I’m worried that  I might be resistant to same drug now. Please advice what must I do or should I change the doctor?

Answer

Hi

Thanks for the questions and sharing your experience.

It sounds like you have had a difficult time and also been very lucky to have responded well to both HIV and TB meds.

In the short-term, it is probably better now to start Trivenz again as soon as possible. Although there is a small chance you developed resistance, it is much more likely that restarting will be okay. Because your CD4 count went so low before you went on treatment you really need to be taking HIV meds everyday.

In the longer term, it sounds like you need health care that will ensure your meds are always there. This might involve finding out whether free meds are available in other ways. If your doctor is not helpful and you have a choice of other doctors, then see whether someone else might be more helpful.

You didn’t say which country you live in so I can’t comment on the health system. For example, in the UK HIV meds are free and in the US there is ADAP and medicaid to help if you have low income. Many other countries have similar free healthcare.

As Trivenz is a generic version of Atripla, it sounds likely you are not in the US.

Please let me know how you get on and if you have other questions.

30 comments

  1. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Anonymous,

    Trivenz is not the right medicine for PrEP. PrEP contains just two drugs. It’s very effective at protecting people from HIV. And it’s taken before and after condomless sex.

    But if your partner is HIV positive they can talk to the doctor about starting HIV treatment. Trivenz is an effective treatment for HIV. It contains three drugs.

    Please see this guide to PEP and PrEP.

    And here is an introduction to HIV treatment (called ART).

  2. Anonymous

    I have a Non reactive status but my partner has a reactive status.we have been together for 2 years.We stay together and we have not been using protection for the past 2 years. We have tested 3 times in the past 8 months and my status is still non reactive.doctor recommend Trivenz as Prep.Are they a right medicine to use as Prep

  3. Roy Trevelion

    Hi M.L.

    First, it’s good to hear you’ve been on Trivenz and Purbac for two months and that your pneumonia is cleared.

    However, feeling dizzy is a reported side effect of efavirenz which is one of the meds in Trivenz. But you can ask your doctor if there are other HIV meds that will be easier for you to take.

    HIV treatment (ART) can dramatically reduce viral load. Having an undetectable viral load on ART means that HIV cannot be transmitted, even if you don’t use condoms. But it’s important to ask your clinic for a viral load test. That’s to make sure that your HIV meds are working well and that your viral load is undetectable if you are not using condoms. Please see this link to Undetectable = Untransmittable.

    You can contact the Treatment Action Campaign at this contact link. They can give local support.

  4. M. L

    Hi I have been using Trivenz and Purbac for two month, was given to me by my doctor after my HIV test CD4 was 163 I had pneumonia which was healed before starting treatment, problem is I am always dizzy, have body pains, anxious spending time on the internet looking for answers and I take my meds at 8pm every day. One more I have a boyfriend who doesn’t want to use comdom he is a doctor he says it’s safe to have unprotected sex with me is it really safe to do so with only two months on treatment, and will my dizziness go away with time, is it possible to get Trivenz at clinics in South Africa, we didn’t do the viral load at first only did CD4, I have also gained weight during that two months does these mean the med are working on my viral load, so far I don’t know CD4 is how much check up will be done after 6 months according to my doctor.

  5. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Anonymous,

    Trivenz and Tribuss are both generic versions of Atripla, what this means is that they contain the same compounds. There’s more info about this here: http://i-base.info/guides/1561 It’s common to switch between them.

  6. Anonymous

    Good day

    Kindly advise if it is correct for me to use trivenz since i was using tribuss all along. I use to collect trubuss while i was on medical aid and now im no longer on medical aid and the clinic gave me trivenz.

  7. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Anoymous,

    It’s great that you want to take meds again, this is important, more so as it sounds like you’re having issues with your immune system. As you’re ill you’re going to need to see a doctor. There will be ARV options for you, there may even be another generic version of Atripla (This is what Trivens is, please see here: http://i-base.info/guides/1561) if there isn’t then there will be something else.

    When you see your doctor, ask them to check your CD4 count and explain to them why you’ve been off med. You’ll be OK, but you need to be on medication.

  8. Anonymous

    I was diagnosed with HIV when I was seriously ill in 2017. My doctor put me on Trivens. November 2018 I had an accident which put me out of work completely. In December I stopped taking my Trivens because I did not have medical aid and I was fit again. Doctor referred me to public clinics, but I saw that they are not offering Trivenz. I have not been taking any ARVs for a year now am sick. All sorts of things are happening to me, I have thrush, I’m coughing, I have diarrhea but still has a bit of weight. Please help me, I wanna start taking ARVs again.

  9. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Bianca,

    It’s a good idea to talk to your boyfriend and ask him this question.

    But if he is HIV positive and on Trivenz with an undetectable viral load, then the risk to you is zero. Please see U=U (Undetectable = Untransmittable) here.

  10. Bianca

    Hey, i just found a bottle of Trivenz in my boyfriends things with his name on them.I don’t know what they are fore, does this mean his HIV positive. Please help me.

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