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Four or five months still considered early infection?
Sep 25, 2001

Dr Young: I admire you for your intellect and honest concerning HIV. I believe I had contact with HIV on 26th of june 2001 and have tested negavive as of september 17th 2001. If I later test positive in the next six weeks could I benifit from antiviral treatment so that my immune system might be able to combat HIV without meds in a STI? Thanks for your consideration of my queation.

Response from Dr. Young

Thank you for your question.

More and more often, we are identifying persons with acute HIV infection. This situation is one where the person has an indeterminate or negative antibody test but positive viral load or positive de-tuned antibody testing (available through research sites).

There appears to be significant benefit to the initiation of therapy in this circumstance, with much improved preservation of immune responses (particulary those responses to HIV) and the possibility, as you point out, to having lower viral loads later. A very important aspect to acute infection, aside from the recommendation to consider the use of HAART, is to consider enrolling in clinical studies for persons with acute seroconversion or acute infection. These studies are currently available through many university programs (including the AIDS Clinical Trials Group). I would recommend contacting your local research site(s) to discuss these possibilities.

Good luck, BY



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