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Just Diagnosed:11/09/11:Please Help:
Dec 11, 2011

Dr.McGowan:I was just diagnosed on 11/09/11. My CD4 count was 374 on 11/16/11. VL=46,000: No hepatitis: Genotype test still pending: CD4 lymph%= 20%: CD4/CD8 ratio = 0.3// All other blood work in range.(CBC, etc.) 1. Does this mean I have had HIV for some time? 2. Should I go on meds? 3. Assuming no resistance, should I start with Atripla? I am still in the very early stages of attempting to deal with this so any help would be greatly appreciated. Ron

Response from Dr. McGowan

Dear Ron,

I am sorry to hear about this news. I am glad you got tested and found out when your immune function was still relatively good. By starting meds now you can avoid ever having AIDS or being sick from having HIV. The goal of the meds is to get the viral load to undetectable which will allow your immune system to heal and get back in balance. Hard to tell how long you may have been infected because your viral load is not particularly high or low (it is average), so it may have been a couple of years.

I would recommend treatment now if you are ready. You would need to take your meds every day to keep the lid on the virus and prevent it from developing drug resistance.

There are several treatment options for you. After you get your resistance test results back, if there is no evidence of resistance you may choose between any of them. It would depend on your likes/dislikes/pill aversion/schedule, etc.

Atripla and Complera are one pill-a-day options. Truvada + norvir/Reyataz or Norvir/Prezista are other once a day (multi-pill) options that may offer some more forgiveness if your schedule is unsettled. and Truvada + Isentress is a twice a day option that usually has few side effects. Any of these may work for you. Discuss the pros and cons of each with your doc.

Good luck to you.

Joe



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