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When to start Atripla
Nov 13, 2013

I've been recently diagnosed with HIV. I have a CD4 count of 562 & a viral load of 2025. My Dr has prescribed Atripla but says its up to me when I should start and she'll support whatever decision I make. Obviously I'm not a Dr but I feel like I should start treatment ASAP since my diagnoses was made so early. How do you feel about early treatment? Any input on when to start treatment would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Response from Dr. Young

Hello and thanks for posting.

While your CD4 count is in the normal range and you have a relatively low HIV viral load, current US treatment guidelines would still recommend treatment if you're willing to take them.

I support broad use of HIV medications, and both earlier diagnosis (through improved access to testing) and earlier initiation of treatment. There's increasing evidence that starting before CD4 counts are abnormal may decrease risk of death and non-AIDS complications, like cancers, heart-, kidney- and bone disease.

The fact that your doctor has given you a prescription is an endorsement that it's ok to start (acknowledging that some people may have other pressing issues), and it seems that you're already wanting to start-- both of you are in agreement.

Hope that helps, BY



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