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HAART considerations
Feb 4, 2014

I was recently diagnosed with HIV and the results from my blood work will come back soon. I am under the impression that this information will determine which medications are right for me. Aside from all the other emotions i'm experiencing and being consumed by, I'm concerned with the judgment of the doctor who will be prescribing them. I've only been to him once and I don't know much aside from his good reputation. I believe he is already recommending atripla. I know each patient is unique and responds differently, but is there any advice you can give towards this situation? I am really scared of side effects

Response from Dr. Young

Hello and thanks for posting.

There's many factors that go into choosing a HIV treatment regimen- think of individualizing the decision based on the virus (ie., drug resistance), your body (risks of kidney, liver, bone health, etc) and your life style (when you eat, work, side effect aversion, etc). Do know that a recent study of Tivicay-based regimens showed statistical superiority to Atripla. In the study called Spring-2, more people starting on Atripla had to stop treatment because of side effects than those who took the two pill regimen of Tivicay (with either Truvada or Epzicom). Integrase inhibitor regimens like these are now among those recommended by the US Department of Health and Human Services. Most experienced providers here in the US are starting fewer people on efavirenz-containing treatment (like Atripla) for this reason. (Disclosure: I am an investigator and on the speaker bureau for Tivicay)

TheBody.com's Resource Center on Staring Treatment has some excellent pointers.

Hope that helps, BY



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