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Tests after starting treatment for the 1st time
Feb 23, 2014

Hi there, I'm new to all this, just waiting for resistance test results and if all OK, ready to start Atripla. Am 31yo male, been infected for about 1.5 years, current results are CD4 309, CD4%22, viral load 18,200. Am an expat living in China and saw a doctor recently in Bangkok, which is where I will try to go for all the follow up appointments and tests relating to HIV, unless an emergency arises must do it here in China. My question is, once I start taking the medication, when is the most optimal time to go back see the doc and do more tests to check if the med is working? The doc in Bangkok was wonderful and spent A LOT of time with me, explaining everything but it was all like a whirlwind inside my head trying to learn all this in an hour... :) I remember her saying something about 2-3 weeks or a month, saying that unless viral load drops majorly or almost to undetectable within I don't remember was it a few weeks or a month or so...then something is not right....when would you advise me to go back there to do the tests to check if the meds are working, I mean the most optimal time after starting meds?

Many thanks!

Response from Dr. Holodniy

In general, we like to see people back one month after starting HIV treatment to check the viral load and CD4 count to make sure things are all going in the right direction. After that, we usually suggest quarterly visits for blood tests. If things look good after a couple of years of undetectable HIV viral load results and stable CD4 counts we back the visits down to twice a year or once year, depending on the clinical situation.



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