Recently diagnosed as HIV+

Question

I have just, yesterday, got my results back and I test HIV+ with P24 test to HIV. I got tested 10 days post exposure, but at that stage nothing showed up. The tell at 3 weeks was a viral rash but for three weeks before that I had a series of lesser symptoms ( I knew my body was out of sorts) the mainones being numbness in hands and feet, but more importantly very disrupted sleep patterns. Prior to contracting HIV I woudl sleep like a log but for the last three weeks I wake two hours after going to sleep and cannot get back to sleep. Of course everybody said it was simply Anxiety, I knew it wasn't, and now that I have tested possitive I am sure it is the virus that is causing this. My question is this a) do you think this will pass or is it with me for live. b) should I do on medication now and would by hitting the virus hard and fast would this help allevaite the problem. I have an appointment in two days time with the HIV health clinic here in London but before I go I would appreciate you thoughts, as ideas regarding treatment seem to differ from country to country. Thank you Paul

Answer

Dear Paul,

Thank you for your post.

From what you describe, you have been diagnosed during acute HIV infection (prior to complete antibody test conversion).

First off, if confirmed, unfortunately, this will not just "pass", but rather will be with you for life.

Second, the question about treatment initiation during acute infection is one without absolutes, but a growing opinion that there are likely benefits to your long-term health risks if one starts. There are a lot of pros and cons to weigh, and certainly differences in opinion from either side of the Atlantic.

If your tests reveal a complete seroconversion (fully positive test), then there are fewer benefits; under these circumstances, we tend to defer on starting HIV medications here in the States.

I hope this helps and best of health to you.

BY