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.

34 comments

  1. Josh Peasegood

    Hi Tsholo, even without more information, the symptoms you have mentioned are NOT likely to be side effects of Trivenz. Although mild diarrhoea can be a side effect, no HIV meds should cause symptoms that are this bad.

    What does your doctor say about this? If your CD4 count is less than 350, then the diarrhoea could be caused by another infection that will need a different treatment.

    Given how this is impacting your life your doctor needs to take this seriously.

    I also worry whether you have lost any weight, and whether your HIV meds are being absorbed properly. If your viral load results are detectable, then this might mean your HIV meds need to be changed as well.

    I might be wrong if the diarrhoea only started when you began ART, especailly if your CD4 and viral load results are all good. Bur please contact your doctor so they can go through all options. Or it might be that Trivenz is causing the nausea and vomiting, in which case alternative HIV meds will help.

    This link has more info on things that might help the diarrhoea, until your doctor finds out the casue.
    https://i-base.info/guides/side/diarrhoea

    Info on Trivenz:
    https://i-base.info/guides/1561

  2. Tsholo

    Hi Im Tsholo from South Africa. Ive been taking Trivenz for a year now with a non stop diarrhea now I lack appetite and each time I eat, it feels like vomiting. What can I do to stop this flashing diarrhea and regain myself body weight?? I want my appetite and live a normal life.

  3. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Molatelo,

    If your viral load is less than 200, then no, there’s no risk.

  4. Molatelo

    With a viral load of 150 it is possible to infect your partner?

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