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Time to Start Meds?
Jul 6, 2005

I recently got my lab results back from my doctor's visit and my CD4 count is 354 and my viral load is 18,193. I am at the point to where my doctor told me that I would start on anti-viral meds. When I asked him about starting meds, he told me that we would wait until September (my next visit) to see where my numbers are then. Given that my CD4 count has dropped with each visit, should I go ahead and ask my doctor to start meds now, or wait until September?

Response from Dr. Wohl

As long as your CD4 is not dropping like a stone, waiting a couple of months is not a likely risky. Your moderate viral load would predict a slow decline in CD4 count over time.

I do wonder what the motive for the delay is. Possible reasons I might defer until next visit is to allow the patient to get accustomed to the idea of taking meds and do their own research, wait until after a major event such as a vacation or starting a new job, a chance to recheck and verify the numbers at a later time point and so forth. It may be this last reason that has your doc going slow.

DW



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