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Aug 14, 2005

Hi, I have been diagnosis with HIV for 3 months now. My doctor told me that I didn't need any meds because my viral load wasn't high enough to take any meds but my cell count was 232 and my viral load was 1600. He said it wasn't making sense and wanted me to wait but I took them anyway. I caught the virus within a year now from my partner that wasn't sure about his health. So, when I become undetected do I stop the meds? The meds gives me diarhea and makes me nausea should I tell him to change it?

Response from Dr. Wohl

The details are murky. Are you sure you were infected within the past year? When was your last negative HIV antibody test? Have the CD4 cell count and viral load been confirmed?

If your counts really are what you say, I agree with your decision to satrt HIV therapy. The idea behind the treatment is that it will stop your virus from reproducing in your body. IF HIV can be prevented from making more of itself, your immune system can be allowed to recover and grow.

If you stop the medication once your viral load is undetectable within a few days the viral load will pop up and start eating up your T-cells. In this way HIV therapy its like blood pressure medicine: stop it and the pressure goes up again.

If you are having trouble with your current HIV drugs, talk to your doctor. These side effects may be short term. There may be medicince that cab help alleviate your symptoms or alternative HIV drugs if you remain miserable.


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