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starting treatment

Feb 14, 2010

hi benjamin,thank you so much for your answer to my question (starting treatment, on feb 13). unfortunately this has made me even more confused. i was going to start my treatment on thursday 18th of feb. i have picked up my medication already. but you recommand to boost it with ritonavir. unfortunately my doctar has just left on holiday and he won't be back for four weeks, and just before he gets back, i have to go to europe for three weeks. should i start with the meds i have, and wich has been recommanded by my doctor (400 atazanavir/300 lamiduvin/300 viread). and once i will be able to see my doctor in about seven week, and will be able to discuss it with him, to change the regime then and add ritonavir? i really feel that i need to start my treatment now as my cd4 count is very low now(184) and i have been getting flu/caugh symptoms all the time now. plus had pneumonia about four months ago. i really appreciate your quick answer to all this. as you can imagine, i am a bit scared and i really want to do the right thing as soon as possible.

Response from Dr. Young

Hello and good to hear back from you.

I would not recommend starting treatment with unboosted atazanavir, but do appreciate your situation. The issue is that since Viread lowers atazanavir levels, you could place yourself at risk of developing atazanavir resistance-- even in the first weeks of treatment. This doesn't happen all of the time, but I'd rather wait a few weeks to get it right rather than risk drug resistance (which is permanent).

Does your doctor have an on-call back up? Here in the US, it is a general requirement.

Write back anytime and good luck, BY

severe weight loss due to hiv
starting treatment

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