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should i start med's
Jan 1, 2007

hello Doc happy new year i am hiv positive since 2004 over the last 8 months my cd4 is averaging between 480 with 376 being my lastlab work results and vl beind 11,500 my doc want to start me off on Sustiva and Truvada should I start or hold it off. Thank you

Response from Dr. Young

Happy new year to you and thanks for your post.

If you're currently not experiencing HIV-related symptoms, current treatment guidelines don't recommend starting treatment until your CD4 counts are reproducibly below 350 cells.

Your viral load is low-average, indicating that your risk of disease progression is, well, average- but certainly not high in the short term.

If you're reluctant to start, there would be little harm in waiting a month or two to get another set of labs to see where things are.

On the other hand, current treatments like tenofovir/FTC (Truvada) and efavirenz (Sustiva, Stocrin) or their triple combo pill (Atripla) are very well tolerated. I think that a major reason that many wait to start is because of fear of side effects or too many pills. Such current regimens have solved many of these needs and decrease the reluctance to start.

Hope this helps. BY



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