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Should we start with the treatment.
Jan 9, 2003

Hi Doc David, My daughter and her 8 month kid both HIVP.The kids VL is 100,000 copies and my daughter' VL is 8000.Should they start with the treatment? Thanks.

Response from Dr. Wohl

I am sorry to hear about your daughter and grandchild both being positive. There are several factors to consider when deciding to start HIV medications. The viral load is one thing but the CD4 cell count and whether a person has symptoms of HIV infection are the major factors.

For adults, HIV therapy is generally recommended when the CD4 cell count hits around 350. For kids, much depends on age. At 8 months of age a CD4 cell count below 1500 is considered reduced. Another thing is young kids have high viral loads. The average viral load of HIV+ kids younger than 1 year of age is around 185,000. This drops slowly over the next few years.

Be sure they are seeing clinicians experienced in treating HIV, especially a pediatric HIV specialist in your grandchil's case. Good luck to you and them - DW

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