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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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treatment at seroconversion
Jan 5, 2004

i started treatment on efavirenz and combivir two months aftre experiencing a severe seroconversion mistaken initially for scarlet fever. I was told this would assist in immune reconstitution. My CD4 absolute count then was 400 and v.load 10,000. Initially I was told I would take treatment for 6 months, then this was extended to a year. My CD4 rapidly picked up to 700 and v.load below 50. The consultant I see seems to be pushing me to continue this treatment despite my good CD4 count and v.load and my difficulties managing the side effects of the efavirenz. What is your opinion regarding this. I cannot find any clear guidelines for length of seroconversion/acute HAART treatment. regards anthony

Response from Dr. Conway

You will not find and guidelines on duration of treatment. Many (including myself) believe in treatment during acute/early HIV infection to better preserve the immune system. Further, many of us believe that treatment will nto be life long, and that we will be able to stop after some time and let your body handle it. One year is the duration of treatment we are testing in clinical trials, and would be a good guideline to use in pratice for someone like you.

Now, if your viral load is undetectable, there are data to support a single drug switch to deal with side effects of an agent like efavirenz. Nevirapine or atazanavir, as examples, could be good, easy-to-take substitutes for the efavirenz. You should talk about this with your consultant.

Good luck!!!

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