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HAART during acute infection phase
Oct 12, 2013

Hello,

I submitted a long question two days ago. I am now posting a lighter version of it.

I am convinced I have been infected with HIV. I am currently in the acute infection phase experiencing mild symptoms for more than 10 days, 2 weeks after possible exposure. My symptoms are fading (does the acute phase last actually longer than the symptoms ?)

I am getting the results of a test taken 21 days after the exposure. The test will measure antigen p24 and hiv antibodies. If they do find antigen p24, can I asked to be put on HAART so that to prevent the further formation of quiescent reservoirs ? I know HAART is known for its toxicity, I know I could also develop issues of adherence and drug resistance that will later reduce my options for future treatments But isnt' it worth it ?

Thank you very much for your advice. C.

Response from Dr. Wohl

When acute infection is suspected, testing should be done immediately to look for the presence of virus in the absence of fully formed antibody response. Many experts believe that once acute infection is documented treatment is indicated. At my university we strongly recommend all with acute infection to start ART. The risks of ART are now minimal and, as you point out, there can be risks associated with uncontrolled HIV in the early phase of infection. Preserving HIV-specific immune function and perhaps impacting the HIV latent reservoir are theoretical benefits of such very early ART.

I am concerned at the pace of your testing, given the above. IF you were infected it is likely you will be past the acute phase by the time the test results return.

DW



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