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Viral Load, CD4 Count and the percentage of the two
Sep 28, 2003

My CD4 count was 256 and viral load was 49,800 at my last check. My CD4 is 26. I am on no meds with the exception of many vitamins, as well as androgel, lipitor and occasional elavil. Is it time for HIV medication(s)? I have a HIV specialist and my PCP also specializes in HIV. Both had varying opinions, one being fine without meds and the other politely informing me that he would prefer meds. I have been seeing the HIV specialist for more years than my PCP. What are your thoughts, considering my numbers? Thanks so much.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

I don't know if I should split the difference. Current guidelines recommend treatment for those with a CD4 count < 350 and/or a viral load > 50,000. Time is the all important factor. If you have been infected for several years and these numbers are relatively stable, then I might be inclined to wait and see the trend over time. If these values are unknown, or your CD4 count has declined signficantly over the last couple of years, I would be inclined to recommend starting treatment.



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