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when I should have the treatment?
Mar 30, 2006

Hi! doctor, I'm 32 yrs old male and I've been diagnosed with HIV +ve on Feb, 2006. My CD4 reading was 247 cells/ul. My doctor said that at this moment, i do not need any treatment because my CD4 still above 200 cells/ul(>200 cells/ul. But I've been reading some of the article in this web and early treatment is needed. Please advised! and if I should, what kind of drugs should I take? Thanks.

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your post.

There isn't uniform agreement on some of the timing of when to start HIV medications. For symptomatic patients with serious HIV symptoms or an AIDS-defining event, treatment should definitely be initiated.

For patients like you with counts between 200 and 350, some doctors defer starting, while others (like me) tend to offer treatment to patients who are willing and able to adhere to medications.

There are multiple excellent options for medications-- most patients in the developed world start on once-daily treatments-- with a fixed dose nuke combo (tenofovir/FTC or abacavir/3TC) with either a non-nuke (efavirenz) or with a boosted protease inhibitor (lopinavir/ritonavir, atazanavir/ritonavir or fosamprenavir/ritonavir).

The key thing about picking a drug regimen is to know the pros and cons of each option (pill number, drug interactions, diet restriction and side effects) and to balance those characteristics with your particular medical and social situation.

I hope this helps, BY

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