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Whats the hold up?
Apr 3, 2007

Hello, I was diagnosed positive on March 26 and on March 30 had all my bloodwork done. My doc has sent all the paperwork to the specialist who is supposed to contact me for treatment. I am able to access my tests online and am very concerned. I have a CD4 count of 270 but have not gotten the viral load back yet but suspect it will be high. I have also learned that I have hep b. With the resources on the site (which I thank you highly for) I expect to be on some type of treatment and have no problem in this however I am unrealistic in thinking I should have been contacted for a meeting with a specialist? I know I am not alone in having HIV but I am very scared and with the positive aspects I have read about treatments I just want to get started.

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your post.

Sorry to hear about your diagnosis; the first operational principle is that it is rarely, if ever, an emergency to start HIV medications. There's much to assess before starting medications; though you've had a avery quick return on your CD4 count, knowing your viral load and HIV resistance test results are essential prior to starting medications.

Likewise, additional understanding about your hepatitis B is also relevant, since some HIV medications also treat hep B.

I'd expect a call from the HIV specialist, sometimes thing could take a few days, but don't sit back and wait for things to happen; feel free to take ownership of your health and healthcare- just ring the office up and see if the referrals and appointment requests have been received. (We're all human and trying to do the best job, but sometimes things don't happen the way or time that they should.)

If your CD4 count is confirmed below 350, then the time is soon to start HIV medications. I'd still want to invest time into counselling you about your best treatment options, the hows and whys of adherence and to work on a lot of other preventive medical issues (like vaccinations, diet, exercise, smoking and the like).

I hope this helps, feel free to write back with any follow up questions. BY



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