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Shall I start medication now?
Jul 30, 2006


I was diagnosed two months ago.My CD4 count dropped below 200 weeks ago(it was 350 in September last year). I know I was infected in August 2005. I don't have any diseases yet and feel very healthy, no coughs, no fever, nothing.

Shall I start taking the medication instantly, or shall I wait to see if my body can deal with it for the time being(start medication much later)?



Response from Dr. Young

Bob, thanks for your post.

If I were your doctor, and if your CD4 count was reconfirmed below 200, I'd certainly recommend starting on HIV medications.

It's good that you've not had any symptoms of HIV infection, but your labs already tell you that your body doesn't deal with "it" well-- you've lost almost 50% of your CD4 cells in the past year.

While it's understandable not to want to take anything that your body doesn't neeed, I always counsel patients like you to consider what you're waiting for-- with CD4s below 200, you're at considerable risk of life threatening complications and cancers.

You don't have to start on medications "instantly", but should have a thoughtful discussion with your doctor about your options (make sure that you get resistance testing prior to starting, to make sure that you're not resistant to any of the medications that you might start).

Best of health to you. BY

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