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EARLY TREATMENT
Aug 1, 2000

Dear Dr. Squires:

I couldn't see my specialist for another 4 weeks after testing positive. I was exposed to the virus about 14 weeks ago. Is this too late or it's too early for the specialist to do any thing? Thank you.

Response from Dr. Squires

You would still be considered to have "early infection". A number of studies in which people with early infection received agressive antiretroviral therapy suggest that you might develop a better HIV-specific immune response but it is too early to say that this will result in a better long term outcome. The trade-off is that you are starting treatment very early in the course of your infection and facing many years of taking medications plus the chance that you will experience side effects to the drugs or develop some of the complications that we are seeing more commonly now that people have been taking these drugs for several years. You will need to discuss all these factors with your physician. Only you know how you react to taking pills and having to remember to take medication daily.

Hope that this has been helpful. Good luck with your decision.

Kathleen E. Squires, M.D.



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