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small town, Big prob.
May 22, 2000

I recently was tested for HIV and was found to be positive. My Viral Load was 180,000 and my CD4 was 101. I also just got over a bout of Thrush. I live in a small town and my Doctor's response to my numbers was for me to go and research treatments and come back with some options for us to discuss. Overall, I feel healthy with the exception of reoccurring sinus infections and the recent Thrush. I've been researching HIV information but find the more I know, the more I don't know. Shouldn't my Doctor be telling me what I should do, instead of the other way around? My HIV-positive friends tell me that I should start treatment NOW, not in a few weeks. What should I do?

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Your positive friends are correct. You need to start treatment soon. Given your CD4 count, you need PCP prophylaxis as well. There are several HIV treatment options for you. I would suggest that you confer with your friends and find out about some of the successful regimens that maximize treatment success, and minimize pill burden and toxicities. The best treatment for you will also depend on making sure there are no underlying medical problems that could affect the treatment response.

MH



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