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when should I start hiv meds
Feb 4, 2007

Hi Dr.Young,My name is Larry and any info would help a lot on 6/05 i was hiv-on 10/05 hiv?12/05 hiv+ cd4 of 510 T8 1193 rna 71904 lab 1/06 524cd4 85683 rna 3/06 516 cd4 25059 rna 05/06 702 cd4 53882 rna 9-06 585 cd4 44476 rna 12/06 608 cd4 49831 rna so based on that when would u start taking meds. thank u Larry

Response from Dr. Young

Hello Larry and thank you for your post.

If one assumes that you're currently asymptomatic, then I would not current recommend starting HIV medications.

With current (generally) well tolerated medications, I usually recommend starting medications in patients when their CD4 counts approach 350. Any single lab test isn't reason to start, but it's the trend or reproducibility of the value that would trigger the decision.

You've currently got a normal CD4 count and "average" HIV viral load, suggesting an average rate of CD4 decline-- probably about 50 cells per year. This would indicate that it will be a number of years before you need to start HIV medications.

This doesn't mean that you should go off to Fiji and ignore your health (though a trip to Fiji is never really a bad idea). This is an excellent time to work on optimizing all other health aspects-- mental health, substance dependency (tobacco, alcohol, other recreational drugs), vaccinations, diet and exercise-to name a few.

Hope this helps. BY



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