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How soon after infection to start treatment
Sep 6, 2004

I was infected 16 May, seroconverted approx. 30 May - 2 June, tested "inconclusive" twice with Elisa test on 8th and 13th June, also "inconclusive" with the Western Blot on 16th June and then positive on 18 June with the PCR test. Immediately saw a specialist (and a shrink !!) and was told to relax, not go onto meds, wait till December for a CD4 and viral load count. I'm healthy, feel normal, going about my life in my new "no holds barred" way. Should I go on any meds ?? I was told probably not for many years ... is this correct ?? The specialist is well-known in the field of HIV and AIDS and I do trust what he says ... just worries me to read about so many newly infected people going straight onto meds.

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your post.

There is a lot of debate right now as to the virtues of starting treatment during acute seroconversion. In the immediate past, we offered treatment to nearly everyone in this situation. Recent data suggests that there is limited benefit to starting immediately; as such unless someone is really itching to start (and is capable of understanding risks and is willing to be fully adherent), I tend not to encourage patients to start. It is the recent evolution in philosophy that is evident in the patients who started medications during recent infection. Hence, I'm in general agreement with your specialist.

The key thing to do now is to take care of preventive medicine- mental health, substance dependency (including tobacco), get your vaccinations up to date, etc. If you take care of yourself, get regular follow up, on average, it will be years before you need to go on medications; I'd expect you to live a normal- or near-normal life expectancy.

Good luck, thanks for reading. BY



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