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possible to delay start time?
Feb 12, 2005

What are the factors that affect the average start time for treatment after infection?

Will exercise, healthy eating, etc make a big difference in my timeline? Or is the particular strain of my virus more likely to be the determining factor?

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your post.

Flashback 10 years-- our community struggled to find anything to postpone the inevitable progression to AIDS and death; healthy living, diet, exercise; unusual things, like rectal ozone, mega-vitamins. Nothing really worked now did it?

It's clear that a healthy lifestyle, avoidance of excesses (in food, drugs, tobacco, maybe even sex), exercise, good mental health will improve one's sense of being and might even improve one's overall long-term health. Will these factors make a large impact on the rate of HIV-mediated, CD4 cell decline? Probably not.

The biggest factor that relates to the start time of HIV medications (in other words, the rate of CD4 decline) is the viral load. The more HIV present, the faster the decline. There are both viral and host factors that influence this rate; for example X4-tropic HIV seems to be more pathological than the CCR5-utilizing virus; some host (patient) genetic factors that influence this as well- there are individuals with innate differences (mutations) in their HIV coreceptors (CCR5 and X4) that have a positive effect on CD4 decline as well, but this is something that we can't alter our own genetics- this is a mater of having selected parents with good genes.

I hope this clarifies things. Thanks for reading. BY



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