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about when to start
May 3, 2005

I tested pos. a year and a half ago, initially, my T's were over 1,000, viral load around 8,000, next labs T's were around 800, viral load 17,000, next labs, new doctor, T's were 300, he didn't to a viral load, I changed doctors and am now very happy with my medical provider. However, my T's went from almost 600 to 323, and viral tripled to 44,000. Now I am starting treatment. I'm not going to go against my doctors advice, but I guess I am looking for other perspectives. Thanks.

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your post.

If I were your doctor, even with your CD4 count of 323, I wouldn't rush to start treatment. First off, viral loads can change by as much as 4- to 5- fold from day to day, so a single tripling of the VL may not indicate any change in your average VL. Yes, your CD4 count is below 350 and if confirmed might indicate the time to start. However, I'd like to repeat a set of labs about 1 month after the last set to see if the values are confirmed or simply represent part of the normal variability of tests.

I hope this helps. BY



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