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Clinical Trial
May 14, 2005

I am thinking about entering a clinical trial for a CCR5 inhibitor/blocker even thought my CD4 is in the 800-1000 count, but my VL is over 100k. I have only one other symptom of anemia. I was just diagnosed in Oct 04. What is your advice?

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your post.

I welcome your interest in participation in clinical trials-- without persons like you, we'd never have come so far with HIV therapies.

I tend to recommend that patients enroll in clinical trials when the circumstances warrant starting treatment anyways. With a CD4 count in the 800-1000 range (assuming that we can find a reason for your anemia) I generally don't recommend that my patients initiate treatment.

On the other hand, you do have a relatively high viral load and some would consider treatment with this parameter alone. For my patients, these are the situations where we would monitor your labs over a few months to document any trends.

The CCR5 entry inhibitors are a very interesting and promising class of medications. It has been our limited experience that they appear to be quite well tolerated and as such are being evaluated as part of first-line treatments (as suggested by the study that you're considering). Indeed, they will probably best most effective (though not limited to) in persons with higher CD4 cell counts.

I'd make sure to have a detailed discussions about the relative merits and liabilities of the study design and medications with your doctor.

Good luck and thanks for considering the study. BY



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