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stopping meds after HIV exposure
May 27, 2007

Following HIV exposure, (within 5 days) I started Kaletra, combivir treatment for 30 days. The decision to start treament was due to a high risk exposure situation and fast onset of acute symtoms. My results after treatment were CD4 700, VL <50.

I have stopped treatment now for two weeks. Several acute stmtoms have returned ; mild sore throat, enlarged nodes, and mono like fatigue. (but not fever yet) I feel worse than the side effects caused by the drugs. Am I still in the Acute stage? Should I resume treatment or do I wait for acute symtoms to go way and then look at CD4 and VL do determine if treatment is justified? I heard treatment is recommended when symtoms are severe regardless of VL and CD4, what does that mean? How bad do you actually have to feel? Is treatment recommended for longer than 30 days or for the length of acute stage?


Response from Dr. Pierone

Hello and thanks for posting.

Strictly speaking, the regimen that you have been on is not for treatment of acute HIV infection but rather for post-exposure prophylaxis after a high risk exposure. The standard course of treatment for post-exposure prophylaxis is 30 days. Then it becomes a waiting game with follow-up blood testing. The good news is that there is a greater than a 99% chance that infection will not occur.

By now you should have your follow-up HIV results back should know if this preventive therapy was effective. Good luck!

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