Primary HIV infection
Jan 20, 2005
I choose my doc before I was infected because he is gay and I felt comfortable with him. I knew he had a large HIV+ clientel, but I went to him for the normal stuff. Then last April I got very sick and had an indeterminate test. In May,it was bad news. My first appt with him was in June and my labs were cd4 624, 30%, vl 24,400. I was scared and he immediatly put me on sustiva and combivir. My latest labs are cd4 956, 48%, vl>50. I didn't know what the CDC guidelines were initialy, but now wonder if I should have gone on meds. One reason he may have put me on them is that I am married (yes, still, with counseling and she is neg) in order to try and protect her. I still believe in my doc, but have some doubts since he put me on the meds so early. He attends HIV conferences, even took his nurse to the last one, so I believe he stays current. But I still have this nagging feeling. Can you say something to put my mind at ease? Did I start too early?
Response from Dr. Pierone
There are studies that suggest (but do not prove) prompt treatment of primary HIV infection may favorably alter the long-term course of the disease. In most of the studies treatment was initiated within 3 months of infection. Randomized trials comparing immediate to deferred treatment are underway and will shed more light on this issue. Because of the limited data, treatment of primary HIV infection is considered optional. Some clinicians recommend prompt treatment with a plan to stop after 6 months to a year. So you did not start too early, but the question now is when (if ever) do you stop?
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