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another follow up--im scared!!
Mar 23, 2003

Dr Young:

More from guy with high numbers so early...

1. How will I know if I am in acute stage--only by getting tested later again and seeing if numbers inprove? I did have these large infections from awhat looked like insect bites last month and I took antiobiotics for that, then gor the giargia, took flagel, and had itchy elbows. This all before diagnosis.

2. You said giardia could affect the vl "two fold" or something like that. Being new to this, what does that mean?

3. What about a test to determine if my virus is more viralant. What else, other than being acutem could explain these numbers?

I prefer not going on meds yet but will if I have to of course.

Response from Dr. Young

Acute HIV infection is operationally defined as the first 8-12 weeks of infection. They way that this can be detected is by having either a negative or indeterminate HIV ELISA test with a positive HIV plasma viral load (PCR).

By two-fold, I mean that a typical minor infection might (this is the key word) increase a viral load by 100% (multiply by 2).

As for testing your virus, I differ from the usual treatment guidelines by ordering HIV drug susceptibility testing on all of my new patients (acute or chronic HIV infection).

Starting medications is a complex decision that is beyond the scope of of this reply, but I'd encourage you to surf the QandA from this forum for many comments on the subject. -BY



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