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starting over
May 30, 2004

hello 5 years ago i was tested and told i was positive i have never been ill i started treatment right away then a year ago i stopped treatment since that time i have been feeling great i went to doctor the other day he told me even tho my t cells were fine like 575 my viral load was going up and i should think of going back on treatment i don`t want to go back on that medicine as i suffered from side effects he gave me viread epivir and viramune to be taken once a day told me there were hardly no side effects is that true? and how can my viral load be high if my immune stsyem is still good and i`ve never been sick? should i get a second test or just admit that i am positive and start meds over again?

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your question.

I typically don't use viral load alone in deciding to start treatment. So, with a CD4 count of 575, I wouldn't be changing anything in your care, provided that your feeling well and have no symptoms of HIV.

The regimen that you've discussed with your doctor typically can be dosed once-daily, though nevirapine is FDA-approved as a twice-daily medication.

I'd probably use a second test to break any tie in decisions; take a look at your CD4 counts and CD4% over time-- this might give you a sense for how much change there has been over the past years.

Good luck, thanks for reading. BY



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