Friend in need
Nov 15, 2005
Hello Dr Young,
I have a friend who is HIV positive with a CD4 count of 222 and VL of 56000. He was told by two different doctors to start on a regimen of either 1) Sustiva / Truvada or 2) Combivir / Viramune He has fairly low platelets and has tested positive to HSV. Which in your opinion is the better regimen to begin with.
On a more personal note, I read your bio and found it very interesting and similar in some regards to my own life. I completed an electrical engineering degree with a biomed minor and then did a PhD in biomedical imaging (MRI, CT etc). Then I travelled the world for 6 months. On my return I decided to enrol in medical school which I have now commenced (at age 27!). I am interested in what you rate better out of academic PhD research or medicine?
Thanks for your help and keep up the good work!
Response from Dr. Young
Thanks for your post and interest, Michael.
Among the two differrent options for your friend, I'd vote for number one. The combination of once-daily combo tenofovir/FTC (Truvada) with efavirenz (Sustiva) is on most guidelines preferred list (including our own DHHS). AZT/3TC (Combivir) and nevirapine (Viramune) is not a bad alternate, though is dosed twice-daily and has a slightly greater risk of causing some side effects. (I'd encourgage a search of our form about specifics of the side effects of each of these drugs.)
As for the PhD vs MD question-- a quick summary is thus:
Academic basic research puts you in touch with the most cutting edge of research-- it's detail oriented and labor-intensive. The buzz is a very high one, when you hit pay dirt. The problem is that funding can be problematic and the days of slogging far exceed the days of elation.
For me, clinical medicine (and clinical research) offers a more steady-state satisfaction of seeing patients improve their quality and quantity of life; I'll never become a member of the National Academy of Sciences or win the Nobel, but there is an undeniable ego-satisfaction of knowing that you can help people.
I think that it's the life experiences that you have (as well as the academic ones) that will enrich your perspective on patient care and any research that you ultimately decide to do with your medical degree.
Good luck, MS1, drop a note from time to time. BY
Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS
- Ways Other Than Sex To Get Herpes
- Is Uti Medication The Same As Gonorrhea?
- Getting Treatment For Genital Warts When Can I Have Sex Again
- Topical Cream For Shingles And Nerve Pain
- Things That Look Like Herpes But Are Not
- What Are The Chances Of Getting Genital Herpes While Using A Condom?
This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.
Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither TheBody.com nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.