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Wondering should I be on meds...new to everything.
Sep 13, 2003

I found out that I'm HIV + 4 months ago. My CD4 is 528 and my VL is 550. The doctor keeps trying to reassure me that right now I don't need to take any meds. Being new to all of this I'm concern about not treating the disease. I would really appreciate your advice or recommendation. According to my numbers, should I be on meds? Thank you in advance for responding.

Response from Dr. Young

Typically, if your CD4 count is above 350 and your viral load is below 55,000, current recommendations say to hold off on treatment (assuming that you're asymptomatic).

From this, you can readily see that your CD4 count is higher and viral load much lower than the thresholds to start therapy.

The idea of waiting to start is based on the idea that medications can potentially cause side effects and that for persons like you, the risk of having an HIV complication is low-- for you, very low.

The key thing is to use this period for making sure that your health maintenence issues are buffed up- things like preventive vaccines (hepatitis, pneumonia, tetanus), getting good follow up monitoring and the like. I recommend getting labs at least every 6 months, if not every 3-4 months for persons who are not currently on therapy.

Good luck. BY



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