Newly Diagnosed Question about Resistance Test
Feb 20, 2013
Developed and hospitalized for PCP, however doctor taking over care in hospital waited to run viral load, cd4 and resistance tests until saw him 4 days after discharge. He wants to wait for for all tests to come back before determining treatment. Another MD friend states he should start immediately based on diagnosis of PCP...what is the standard? He said would take 3 weeks for all results to come back...can I afford to wait? Currently treating pneumonia with bactim and it is helping, meanwhile I have rash on my back and need to get back to work which involves airline travel....please advise
Response from Dr. Young
Hi and thanks for posting.
If you have PCP, then your CD4 cell count is likely below 200 and should start on HIV medications as soon as possible. There's good reason to not wait for very long to start- your low immune function puts you at risk for additional complications, infections or cancers.
What's important isn't precisely which week you start, but rather that the selection of medications best addresses either the known results of your resistance test or if not known, then uses medications that are very unlikely to be impaired by resistance (like protease inhibitors or integrase inhibitors). Usually resistance tests take 2 weeks, so one could make the case to get back to see your doctor at that point, but either way, you could wait the additional week, so long as you're taking your Bactrim (for the PCP)- it's also a good time to learn about choosing and adhering to HIV medications.
I'd encourage you to review our Resource Center for Starting HIV Medications. There's a wealth of information in these pages that might help you start.
Be well, BY
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