Worried about getting HIV drugs in Cuba?
I am from Cuba, I am writing because I am very worried. Currently I am undetectable since the last tests, although for more than 1 year they have not done CD4.
Every month I should receive the regimen of dolutegravir 50 mg + emtricitabine + tenofovir disoproxil fumarate. The problem is that they do not arrive on time and now here there are shortages of medicines and I only have 4 pills from the previous month. Can I stop taking the pills a day or two a month?
This may help when they are missing or late in arriving.
I know the right thing to do is to take them daily, I wish I could do it always without thinking or worried if the next month I will have it, but it is worse to spend days or weeks without taking them, I think.
Could you advise me please? thank you very much.
Thanks for getting in touch and sorry for the problems you are having.
Unfortunately i-Base sometimes get similar questions from other countries too.
Please also see this recent answer from Romania that discuses drug resistance.
If late supplies only have to stretch for a few extra days, it is okay to miss maybe one dose every week, or maybe every 4-5 days for a while, so that your slowly build up an emergency supply in the future.
Now though, if you are only down to four pills, your could take them on alternate days if you think this will get you to your next delivery.
Otherwise, if this is likely to be several weeks, it would be better to stop completely now, and hold these in reserve for the future. If you are going to be forced to stop anyway, a few days will not make any difference.
Please realise that I am not a doctor, but this is something you could discuss with your doctor. They must be worried about this too.
On a small point, so long as your last CD4 count was good, for example higher than 350, do not worry about your CD4 count. In the UK this is sometimes only check every 1 – 2 years if you are on stable treatment.
Is there an HIV positive organisation in Cuba that is trying to help?