Longevity question 45yo Recently diagnosed
Dec 31, 2010
Hello, I am 45yo male just diagnosed this past October. I am pretty sure I was recently infected. My cd4 was 525 and my VL was 5200. I decided to go on Atripla. Last reading, cd4 566, vl 213. I feel great but am concerned about taking this med everyday from now on. Can I go on healthy for a long time taking this drug? I realize there is no alternative but mentally I need some reassurance if you think it is possible. Please be honest. Thanks.
Response from Dr. Frascino
Unfortunately none of us has an infallible crystal ball that accurately predicts the future. We have extensive experience with Atripla and many consider it to be the current industry standard. There are loads and loads of HIVers on it and doing remarkably well. It also has the benefit of having the lowest pill count and easiest dosing regimen of all antiretroviral combinations -- just one pill once per day.
I don't know how long you've been on Atripla, but your counts are moving in the right direction, both virologically (viral load decreasing from 5,200 to 218) and immunologically (CD4 count increasing from 525 to 566).
To respond to your specific question -- can you be healthy for a long time while taking Atripla? -- yes, it's possible (and likely!). As for mental reassurance, perhaps it would be helpful for you to know my situation. The virus found me in January 1991. Although I'm no longer on Atripla, I have been on combination antiretrovirals for 15 years!
Hope that helps. Happy, Healthy Holidays.
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