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when will i die?
Dec 19, 2005

Can meds really save me? Recently diagnosed. 5ft 9 weigh 212 lbs, black male, no symptoms, viral load of 7810 cd of 326 and percentage of 24 , should i be concered? doctor says no. Says regular cd4 for black males especially in the caribbean is between 400-500, is he correct? should i go on meds now? will i develop reisstance if i start early will teh vaccine help me when it comes? please help me. I just wnat to die.

Response from Dr. Pierone

Hello and thanks for posting. The short answer is that medications really can save you.

The best estimated time to start HAART (combination therapy) is probably between 200 and 350 CD4 cells. But it is important to not rely on just one determination, but get some additional readings before deciding, especially since your viral load is low.

I was not aware that CD4 counts for black males in the Caribbean were significantly lower and would be interested in seeing citations of any studies that your doctor has.

The development of resistance to drugs is mainly caused by nonadherence to the regimen. When adherence is excellent, the risk of acquiring drug resistant virus is quite low. Even in the case of drug resistant virus, therapeutic vaccines (when developed) would be expected to be effective since they work by immune-based mechanisms.

Shock and despair are extremely common after an initial diagnosis of HIV infection. With the passage of time, support from loved ones, and education, things will get better. Hang in there.



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