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Some People With HIV May Not Need Drugs Forever, Study Finds

September 28, 2000

A small number of patients stopped taking their AIDS drug cocktails and still managed to keep the virus under control, researchers report in one of the first studies to suggest that people with HIV may not have to be on medication for the rest of their lives. The study involved eight people, all of whom began taking potent AIDS drugs within six months of infection.

The volunteers were closely monitored and checked twice a week, Dr. Bruce Walker at Massachusetts General Hospital reports in today's Nature. Five of the eight remain off the drugs. One has been off the treatment for 11 months. Two chose to resume the regimen even though their viral levels remained relatively low. A third resumed the drugs because of a sharp increase.

--Compiled by Times medical writer Thomas H. Maugh II

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