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to start meds early, or not?
Jul 4, 2010

Hi Doc,

I was diagnosed on June 1st and just recieved my first set of blood results today (june 30). I haven't confirmed the date I was infected for sure, but i'm 98% sure it was in february.

My cd4s are at 460 and my viral load is at 800 000. The doctor seemed slightly shocked by my viral load and suggested that I may want to start meds right away. He was very unclear as to the pros and cons of this and was very careful not to sway me either way. The decision is entirely mine to make and I don't know what to do. All the info I've seen so far has been vague and sometimes contradictory.

What's your opinion?

I am bloody terrified.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Given where your current CD4 count is (almost in the normal range which is 500-1500), I would be inclined to wait and get another set of numbers or two. There is no urgency to start, even with that high of a viral load, which may actually go down if infection was recent enough and you are still in the acute infection period. If after a few months the viral load is still that high and/or your CD4 count has declined, then you might consider starting treatment, although the experts don't agree on what the best course of action is in your type of situation.



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