Sep 21, 2005
I've been positive for 4 years now - my CD4 count is 141...my VL is over 1 million. My doctor wants to start therepy but the the idea terrifies me. What would you recommend?
Response from Dr. Young
Thanks for your post.
I'm with your doctor. It's time to start treatment for HIV. While your apprehension about starting treatment is understandable, your terror should also consider the risk of having a very serious, if not life threatening infection or cancer (as is the risk of waiting too long to start). Remember that untreated, patients with CD4 count less than 100 have an about 30% chance of dying in one year-- I'd hate to have this happen only because of the fear of side effects.
Newer medication combinations for HIV can be quite easy to take with minimum side effects. Most imporantly, these combos can cause real improvements in immune function and essentially eliminate the risk of having an AIDS complication.
Invest some time for your long-term health by discussing your treatment options with your doctor or case manager. You'll find reason to be less anxious.
Good luck, write us back anytime. BY
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