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Are Vitamines always necessary?
Mar 27, 2006

Dear Doctor i really appreciate the great jobs you are all doing here and the support we get on a regular basis from reading now my question: my CD4 is 190 and viral load 150000 which is the worst results i got since i was dignosed 4 years ago. however my doctor says i sld wait another 3 months or so because my blood ration is good(i dont even understand what that means) i have been on a daily dose of bactrim for the past 5 month and i seem to be completely free from the usual chills i had. sorry for the long route im taking but what i want to know is if i dont really need vitamines as my doctors says since i always eat as much of a balanced diet as i can. judging for myself im in good health but always tired and like to lseep a lot and now even in the office: please help!!

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your post and kind words.

Here's my take: anyone who has CD4 counts below 200 (especially if your doctor has started you on Pneumocystis prophylaxis with Bactrim) should strongly consider starting on antiretroviral medications. As medications get easier and better tolerated, I think that the threshold to start is moving to higher and higher CD4 counts. With preserved CD4 percentages or ratios, it's somewhat less pressing, but I'd still defer to playing it safe and avoiding a life-threatening AIDS complication-- saving youself a few months of medications doesn't seem worth the risk of pneumonia or cancer.

If you have access to a "normal" diet, it's unlikely that vitamins alone will make much difference. I'd save the money and eat a balanced diet full of fresh fruits and veggies (as opposed to grease and fat).

I hope this helps, BY



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