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Newly Diagnosed
Mar 2, 2005

I am a 28y male who was diagnosed HIV+ in January 2005. Before then I tested every 3-4 months and all returned negative; so I would like to think that I was infected within the last 6 or 8 months. I just had my first labs and my Doctor said all my levels were good. WBC count - 5.1 x10E3/uL CD4 - 528 Viral load - 8078 c/ml

3 months from now I will be seen by someone else to go over options on treatment. They are telling me it's really up to me when I start. They do recommend, like your site, that by guidelines I do not need to start treatment now. The answer seems pretty obvious to me(WAIT)considering this virus could grow resistance to meds sooner. Then when I really need them I will have less options. Am I correct in my way of thinking? Should I start on something? Should I wait? I'm pretty scared and don't know what to do. I do appreciate your time and advice.

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your post and questions.

Sorry to hear about your recent diagnosis.

Based on your normal CD4 cell count and low viral load, I'd see no reason that you have to start on HIV medications at this time. Earlier initiation of treatment does pose an increased risk of long-term side effects and resistance, since you'd likely be on medications a longer time than if you waited.

The key is not to think that not being on treatment means that you shouldn't get the usual preventive medical care and follow up, nor that you won't need to be on medications at some point in the future. In delaying, there is the hope of better medications, fewer side effects and a better understanding of the best way to parcel out the medications for the long-term.

Good luck, thanks for reading. BY



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