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Should I start Treatment?
Feb 14, 2006


I found out in Oct 2005 that I have HIV. (the first test in Sept came back indeterminate) I'm a 24yo male, and in good health overwise (save for a slight increase in liver-related functions that my doctors believe to be related to accute HIV infection) In Nov my CD4 was 348, with a viral load of 480,000. in Dec my CD4 was 480, and viral load dropped to 176,000. By Jan my CD4 was 330 and viral load was 33,000.

My doctor has not suggested whether I should begin treatment yet or not. What is your opinion?

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your post.

Your labs do suggest that you had very recently acquired HIV infection-- with the very high initial viral load followed by decline, as well as the indeterminate HIV antibody test in September.

I would probably continue to monitor your labs, rather than initate treatment in your particular situation. It would be a very good idea to get HIV drug resistance testing, since about 1 in 10 persons in the US acquire such viruses today.

Last, patients who are recently infected appear to be at the greatest risk of transmitting virus to other partners and to get super-infected with other strains (drug resistance, for example)-- safe habits are never more important.

Good luck, best health to you. BY

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