Current Status of Antiretroviral Treatment Interruption and Intermittent Therapy Strategies

Joel E. Gallant, MD, MPH

In This Article


Only a few years ago there was no term for a medically sanctioned interruption of antiretroviral therapy. Patients who interrupted therapy generally did so of their own volition, and this was called "nonadherence." Doctors occasionally recommended "drug holidays" to allow resolution of drug toxicity, but otherwise it was assumed that once started, antiretroviral therapy was a life-long commitment. Today, the situation is different: Treatment interruption studies abound, and intermittent therapy strategies are being embraced outside of clinical trials by both clinicians and their patients. The rationale for treatment interruption varies from study to study, and the terminology remains variable and imprecise. In this article, I will discuss the data and current thinking on a variety of treatment interruption and intermittent therapy strategies.


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