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Beginning meds
Mar 4, 2004

My CD4 is now about 440 and has been dropping about 100 every 3 months, and VL is 100,000+ and has been for some months. I am anticipating beginning meds in two months. Am I correct in assuming that I'm easily contagious if I have sex at this point? I also worry about getting someoone else's version of the virus. For two years, I've been celibate, but it's been difficult. When I begin meds, I'm planning on being in a clinical study for neophytes. Good idea? Bob

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your question.

You're correct that you could readily transmit your virus to another person through sexual contact-- this is true, actually, whether your viral load is high (like yours) or lower. Cases of super infection, as you note, are out there and are really important for PLWH to know about, since you could possibly acquire someone's highly drug resistant virus and seriously limit your future treatment options.

As for starting medications, I believe strongly that clinical studies can offer excellent medications and medical care. Study patients typically have better results than persons who are not in studies, perhaps because of closer monitoring of side effects and adherence. Enrolling in studies can be a great idea, particularly if the study offers the same medications as you might be taking if you weren't on study.

Thanks for reading. BY


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