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Am I still considered newly infected
Feb 26, 2002

I posted this question a week or so ago and don't see an answer... I know you must receive hundreds of questions every day, but I feel that I am quickly moving beyond the window period, if I haven't already. If you could provide me with some direction, I would be greatful.

Here goes:

I was infected in Feb 2001. Labs have been as follows:

08/01 VL: 9,705 TCell: 616

11/01 VL: 112,000 TCell: 414 (i came down with a sinus infection right after this set of labs- doc attributed the spike in #'s to this)

12/01 VL: 6,000 TCell --- (not tested)

01/02 VL: 23,000 Tcell 506

As you can see, my numbers are all over the place.

I have never been on meds and a genotype resistance test shows no resistance to any approved drugs.

I keep hearing about newly infected people going on meds for a predetermined time, as this seems to stimulate the immune system to better beat back the HIV virus.

Am I still considered a newly infected patient? Would I benefit from this approach?

If I were a patient of yours what would you suggest?

You have given me excellent advice in the past-- Thank You for all you and the other professionals on this website do everyday.

Response from Dr. Young

We typically define newly infected as persons with negative or indeterminate (partially positive) antibody tests. Another way to test for this is a so-called de-tuned antibody test. As you are no doubt aware, the test typically turns positive within several months (typically six or less) after exposure. Hence, acute infection period is typically less than 2-4 months.

From this you can see that you now have established HIV infection; the benefits that have been discussed in this forum and elsewhere about treatment during acute infection likely will not apply in your case. This point is a very important one, particularly in light of all the attention that STIs have received lately. The STI studies that have gotten attention were done in persons with acute infection who received protease inhibitor-containing therapy-- not the typical situation for many persons, including you.

In review of your labs, I could be led to believe that they are all within the typical variation of the test; viral loads in the low 10,000's range, CD4 cell count between 500-600.

I hope this is helpful, BY



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