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When is the best time to start Treatment
Sep 13, 2006

I was test for HIV on Dec 2005 and was negative. On March 2006 my glands start swallowen and I got my self check again and got positive. My CD4 is 850 and my Virus Load is 3,500. My Doctor's suggestion is that the early I start the better. Atripla the new drug is the one he want to use on me. Based on other infected guys do you think I should start now.

Thanks

Response from Dr. Wohl

Starting HIV meds now would be considered VERY aggressive. Your viral load is relatively low and therefore you can expect your CD4 cell count to drop very slowly. Research so far has failed to show a benefit of starting HIV medications at a CD4 cell count this high.

At issue is that HIV meds are lifelong, can have side effects and can produce drug resistance. Timing HIV therapy requires balancing these problems with their benefits. Currently that balance is at a CD4 cell count of 350. It will likely take you many years to reach this level.

I would wait to start and have your counts checked every 4 months or so.

DW



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