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Recent seroconversion with question about treatment & nutritional supplements

Nov 13, 2004

Hello Drs. Young, Wohl and Pierone, Thank you for sharing your time & expertise in this forum. I recently tested positive (late August 2004) after two negative tests in May and June 2004. My T-cells are 302 and my viral load is 203,000. (It was my first viral load/T-cell blood test.) The infectious disease doctor I saw last week recommended I go on Combavir and Sustiva, but said I could wait another six weeks and be tested again. I'm afraid to start medicine first because of the side effects and second because I don't want to be locked in to a drug regimen prematurely. I am taking a bunch of herbal stuff and vitamins in hopes it will boost my immunity, nothing more than what is recommended on the label. It's all stuff I read about in the chapter on HIV/AIDS in the book Prescription for Nutritional Healing. Skipping the echinacea, which I understand is bad for HIV-positive people, instead trying Kyo-Green, a kelp/wheat grass mixture; aloe vera juice, enzymes, bee propolis, royal jelly, shitake/maitaki/reishi mushroom mixture, Vitamin C, a multivitamin. I got my pneumonia vaccination and will get the flu shot the middle of October. Am I missing a crucial window here, postponing going on HAART? Generally I feel pretty healthy, other than a persistent runny nose & mild congestion. Sincerely, Hopeful in Northern California

Response from Dr. Pierone

Since you have just recently become infected and we don't have definitive proof of the value of early treatment it is ok for you to wait. I don't know enough to comment on the supplement regimen. It is best to have sequential testing of the viral load and CD4 count to determine the trend, this will give you an idea of how well your immune system is able to control the virus. Good luck!

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