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Should I start taking meds immeidately?
Apr 10, 2006

I just tested postive for HIV (like two days ago) and I am still freaking out. I am asymptomatic now, except for what I am almost sure are swollen lymph nodes in the lower front of my neck. After I get my confirmation, test results, I have to follow up with the standard blood work. Even if I don't need meds yet, should I insist to my doctor that I start them now? I don't want to endure the feeling of not doing anything while this disease kills off my immune system. Isn't it better to be aggressive in the beginning and suppress the disease to undetectable in the blood before your CD4 drops to a point when you have to do so?

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your post.

Except in the rare case of acute HIV infection (still HIV antibody test negative), most doctors do not recommend starting on treatment immediately after diagnosis.

I do agree that it's better to be proactive than reactive when it comes to HIV disease, only that I'll wait to see what your labwork looks like (including CD4 count, viral load, HIV resistance tests, hepatitis and TB testing) before making recommendations.

Good luck, BY



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