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beginning treatment?
Mar 2, 2007

I was infected with hiv on Jan.1,2007. I developed acute hiv infection around the 15th of Jan.. My doctor has recommended I befgin treatment with Atripla. He says I am lucky we found the infecton early. However from what i have een readinf it may be better to start the medications at a later date-can you hel me with this decision?

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your post.

While we recommend that most asymptomatic patients defer on starting treatment until their CD4 counts reach 350 cells, you are in the unusual situation of having HIV identified during seroconversion (before HIV antibody tests are positive; otherwise known as acute or primary HIV infection).

In this situation, there is debate about the value of starting HIV treatment. Current opinion suggests that there may very well be benefit (if even modest) to starting treatment, with preservation of HIV related immune responses and the possibility that the "setpoint" HIV viral load may be lower.

In the end, the decision to start during acute HIV infection is one that involves a lot of discussion with your treater about the relative benefits, costs and risks. If you're able to tolerate and adhere to medications, staying on medications until there's more information might be a very conservative approach to trying to optimally preserve your immune system.

Hope this helps. BY



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