Oct 22, 2008
First...I'd like to thank you all for the time and effort taken to reply to posts here. I have just found this forum, and check it daily. I was diagnosed as being positive in May, when I was hospitalized due to very severe flu-like symptoms. At the time of my first labs, my viral load was 750,000, and my CD4 was 122. I was advised to start treatment, and began taking Atripla at once. I got my latest labs back today, and Viral Load is undetectable, and CD4 is 252. I was a bit concerned that my CD4 isn't higher...is this a normal reaction to treatment? Also, did I misunderstand what my doctor told me about my meds. I understood him to say that we'd try meds for a time and see how I progress, and then possibly discontinue therapy. Is that the case normally, or is this going to be a "lifetime" regimine for me? Thanks again for all your help.
Response from Dr. Young
Thank you for your post.
Don't fret, you've had an excellent initial response to therapy. You've had a 130 cell rise in your CD4 count in 6 months and an undetectable viral load. This is exactly what I'd expect from any first-rate, first-line treatment.
I'd clarify your thoughts about discontinuation of treatment (and you can further search this forum for additional information about treatment interruptions)- in short, not recommended. Several large, well-powered clinical studies show that there is a significant risk in stopping treatment- namely increased risk of having complications and even (unexpectedly) risk of non-AIDS-related death. So, unless there is a really compelling reason to stop, I wouldn't.
Best of health to you, BY
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