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New to treatment CD4- 66
May 26, 2006

I've been recently diagnosed with AIDS, pretty much my doctor told me since I was below 66 on my CD4 cells, he started me on Kaletra twice daily, and truvada once daily, would you recommend this treatment as well? I've never been on meds.

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your post.

Yes, tenofovir/FTC (Truvada) with lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra) should be a very potent and well tolerated drug regimen. It is a very highly recommended regimen in the most current US treatment guidelines.

Many of our patients elect to start treatment with one of the newer boosted protease inhibitors even in the face of lower pill burden non-nuke regimens (eg, substituting your lopinavir/ritonavir with efavirenz (Sustiva, Stocrin)-- this is because of the potential benefits of prevention of drug resistance and efficacy, even in the event of transmitted drug resistance. Side effects for most patients are mild and not a reason for treatment discontinuation.

As with any HIV treatment regimen, a small percentage of patients can develop side effects that might limit the tolerability of treatments- because of this, you should stay in contact with your doctor about your symptoms, side effects or any questions that you have about your ability to adhere to the prescribed medications.

With such a low CD4 cell count, finding a potent and adhereable treatment is vitally important- I think that your doctor has selected a very reasonable first regimen. Adherence is the most important thing that you can do now and for the foreseeable future-- with optimal adherence, I'd expect your viral load to reach undetectable levels in 3-6 months and see a ~100-200 CD4 cell increase in the next year.

Good luck and best health, drop us a line to let us know how you're doing. BY



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