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Recently Diagnosed and Now On Meds
Jul 16, 2006

I learned of my HIV results 1-month ago today, and immediately sought out a HIV specialist who ordered the CD4 and Viral Load Test. My results were 487 and >100,000 and he prescribed for me the Sustiva/Truvada regimen and told me to come back in 3 months for another blood test. Being new to this, I followed his advise and have been taking these for a couple weeks now. The more I read, I have learned that perhaps I should have the blood tests again within 2-8 weeks to establish a baseline and THEN determine whether or not to begin taking Meds. Should I be concerned that I have started so soon as it may affect future treatment options?

Response from Dr. Pierone

The usual approach before starting antiretrovirals is to repeat the blood tests at least once in order to get a better sense of the baseline values. The DHHS guidelines address your situation - CD4 count above 350 and viral load above 100,000 in the following manner: "most experienced clinicians defer therapy, but some clinicians may consider initiating treatment. It is worth reading the guidelines for a good discussion that addresses some of the potential benefits and risks of antiretroviral therapy. As long as you don't develop drug resistance on this regimen the decision to start early should not compromise your future treatment options. Thanks for posting and good luck!



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