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HIV Treatment
May 28, 2006

Why is some experts want you to wait before starting meds, I paniced and started when my VL was 60,000 and cd4 800 and 36% now I am cd4 1100 VL 0 and 40% I hated to do the waiting game.

Thanks for your opinion.

Thomas

Response from Dr. Young

Thomas-

Thank you for your post and question- In today's guideline environment, I probably wouldn't have recommended starting on treatment. That said, patients who did start treatment with high CD4 counts and have been able to adhere to treatments have largely done very, very well.

Such is evident in your CD4 count and viral load- it's hard to make the case that your CD4s are much different now than they were when you started, but maybe that's exactly the point.

If you're not having any significant issues with side effects or toxicities, then there's no need to jump ship- indeed, there's some evidence that suggests that stopping therapy may actually increase your risk in the short term of some complications (you can look up the results of the recent SMART study for details). I'd probably continue to monitor your health and symptoms; if there's ongoing side effects, then a discussion about stopping would be worth having with your doctor.

I hope this is helpful. Best health to you. BY



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