Apr 12, 2009
I was diagnosed during acute infection two months ago with a viral load of 300000+. My CD4 count never dropped below 950, and started Atripla at the time of diagnosis. I am not having any problems with the medication. One month after starting treatment my VL had dropped to undetectable, and my CD4 count went back up to 1400+. My CD4/8 ratio was 0.8 at diagnosis, and now is over 2. The literature out there is a little sketchy with respect to primary treatment, and when to take a "structured break"... I get the impression that my doctor doesn't know for sure either (largely because it seems nobody knows with any degree of certainty). I was wondering if you had any insight.
Response from Dr. Holodniy
Your doctor is correct in not having a definitive answer to this question. Given where your CD4 count is currently (high end of the normal range), I think you can safely stop the HIV meds and observe closely with serial CD4 counts and viral load. If your current CD4 count were in the 300-500 range, I would not make such a recommendation.
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