Questioning ID Doc's response to my numbers
May 16, 2011
I was just diagnosed with HIV three weeks ago. My doctor sent me to the best ID specialist in our area who performed a series of tests. My CD4 count was 486 and VL was 82,000 (which didn't concern him too much). Before starting me on any treatment plan he is running a different test (genome?) to see if I have resistance to Atripla. He suggested that there are other options available if I happen to be resistant but didn't expound on what those might be. Any ideas as to what treatment plans he might be referring to? Also, he suggested that with my current CD4 levels, we may wait to start any treatment at all to see if they drop and how quickly. I am sure he is right, but does this all sound correct? Is waiting a bad idea? This whole thing is brand new to me and I had never intended to become an expert on all things related to HIV.
Response from Dr. Young
Hello and thanks for your post.
I'm sorry to hear about your recent diagnosis.
Your doctor is right. You'd want to see the results of your HIV resistance test (or genotype) before selecting a treatment regimen. Also, while current treatment guidelines suggest medications if your CD4 count is below 500, there is no emergency to this.
There are multiple well-studied treatment options, including Atripla- others can be used depending on the particulars of your health conditions and HIV resistance testing.
I hope this is helpful and please feel free to post back with any additional questions.
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