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Srating therapy for the 1st time

Jul 30, 2009

Hi, I am getting ready to start an HIV therapy for the first time.. And I dont like the choices thast my doctors are telling me I have. I have asked questions in regards to taking Atripla and they are kind of against it but I wanted someone else's opinion as well before I have a final conversation about my other choices. I wanted to know what the best regimen was/is for afirst timer and if Atripla is actually a better start off choice.

Response from Dr. McGowan

Thanks for your question.

For some people Atripla may not be the best treatment. Some possible reasons may be: 1) If your virus has any resistance to any part of the Atripla. Resistant virus can be transmitted when you first became infected even before you start meds. 2) if you have any significant kidney problems since one of the components (tenofovir) would have to have its dose changed or avoided in some circumstances. 3) Another issue which is less cleacut than the above, is that many people experience some disturbing dreams or have neuro-psychiatric side effects when they start Atripla (specifically the efavirenz part of it). People who have had difficulty with depression or mental illness may find this a hard medicine to tolerate.

You should discuss these issues with your doctor and see if an alternative may be better.

Hope all goes well,


Dentist Who Specializes in HIV
Atripla and Sulfameth

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