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When to start treatment?
Apr 1, 2005

Hello,

I was diagnosed HIV+ in the beginning of 2-2005. I must have been infected within the last 12 month. I did my first two lab tests with the following results: Lab no 1 in Feb= VL 1900, Cd4 256, 23%, Lab no 2 (came back yesterday) VL 5900, Cd4 296, 20.1%. After the first lab test my doctor said he thinks my body is doing very well in fighting the virus, because my VL is so low and he deosn't think I should start meds soon. Now after the 2nd test he would like to wait and see the trend... My question: I realize my CD4 went up a bit but what is more inportant to me is that my percentag went from 23% to 20.1%. I red that under 21% the immune syem starts having trouble working well. In your opinion, should I go on meds right away or would it be ok to wait another coupe of month? Is it possible my immune system bounces back on its own?

Thanks for your help.

:)

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your post.

Your summary of your heatlh situation seems pretty accurate. Your labs fall squarely into a range where there is some uncertainty about the requirement to start on medications.

In these circumstances, provided that the patient can return for scheduled laboratory follow up, I don't insist on starting medications and will often advise getting repeat labs to assess the trend in CD4 and viral load. BY



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