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testing
Oct 12, 2002

Dear Doctor's:

Our baby tested positive by PCR at birth and positive again at 4 weeks. Viral load done at 7 weeks was less than 200 copies while still on infant dose of AZT/3TC. Mother took AZT/3TC for 3 1/2 weeks prior to delivery by CS. Baby started taking infant doses of AZT and 3TC from birth. At 10 weeks old we switched to pediatric dosage and added Nelfinavir. Second VL test at one year is <50 copies by Ampicor. We are seriously thinking about giving our baby a break from her meds. Our doctor said we should check her CD4 not less than every 6 weeks. I think that is too often and will cause pyscological damage. Baby really freaks out just at the sight of the hospital and even worse during the blood drawing. What would be a reasonable testing frequency on and off meds for a one year old? CD4 normal as well as other blood results are normal, except for high lipids probably from the PI. I have even now begun to wonder if we should do another PCR given she has been undectable right from her first test. What is your opinion please.

Response from Dr. Jackson

Continuing antiretroviral medication is critical to keeping viral load suppressed and CD4 counts high. Monitoring viral load is also important. It is common practice to perform a viral load and CD4 count every 6 weeks for the first 3-6 months and then every 3 months after that to see whether viral resistance has developed.

BJ


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