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Wait and See???
Dec 15, 2004

Hi,

Just got back from my second visit to my HIV Specialist and it was the first visit with lab results. I was diagnosed Positive on 10/14/04, and my lab results showed CD4-585 & Viral Load of 66,774. My Doctor told me he was pretty happy with my numbers although my viral load is somewhat elevated. We discussed treament options and I made my doctor aware of what has been going on in my life the past six months and how I feel this may be a recent infection and if so if its acute hiv infection then wouldn't that tend to have a higher viral load in the beginning and then coming down at a later point? My Doctor told me that could be the case and explained to me the benefits of early treatment and also the flip side.

We left off instead of jumping into treatment, I am going back in another (4) weeks to take new labs because I said to the doctor before I make a decision to begin treatment I want to have something to compare too. He said that would be fine, I see it like this if my viral load goes down in a month then treatment really is not necessary yet and I can benefit from meds at a later time. If my viral load goes up then I can always start treatment in a month from now, I feel this would be making a more informed decision, do you think I made the right choice?

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your question.

It's not obvious to me how recently you've been infected-- either way (early or later), any potential benefit of very early treatment is thought to be reaped only within the first few weeks following infection. As such, I don't think that you'll need to start therapy any time in the immediate future. Waiting to verify your labs in this setting makes perfect sense to me. BY



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