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When should I take medication.
Sep 23, 2012

I was recently diagnosed with HIV. My T-Cell count is 575, and my Viral Load is 450. I have Doctor who works at a world-renowned clinic. He said at this point I dont need to start Meds. At what point would I begin to take, or should I be on them now?

Response from Mr. Vergel

If you have access to treatment and can be committed to taking your medications on time every day, I would suggest that you consider starting medications since your CD4 level is very close to the one used by the HIV DHHS guidelines to recommend treatment (500 CD4 cells per ml). Small pilot studies that have provided treatment to people with moderate CD4 cells and very low HIV viral load like yours have shown that many of those patients faired very well with treatment. A proportion of them went on to stopping treatment months later and had viral loads that remained undetectable for a long time. Also, some preliminary data show that those patients who start at numbers like yours may also preserve good immune function and potentially stop HIV from populating different reservoirs in the body.

At the end, it is a personal decision that has to be made with your doctor taking into consideration your level of commitment and self-care.

Nelson



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