Mar 12, 2007
I postponed starting threapy, call me crazy, it was something I really wanted to think about. Well I thought too long, my CD4 droped to 13 and my VL reached 764,000. I felt awful, I took short term disability and started Atripla, in two months my CD4 is 116 and my viral load is 169 and I feel better than I have in two years. I am also taking Bactrum and Fluconozole. My Dr.plans on stopping the fluconozole in another month and continue the Bactrum for a while longer. My questions is this did I wait too lone, is it less likely for me to reach a "noral" CD4 even if my VL becomes undetectable? Thank you for the information you provide on The Body
Response from Dr. Young
Thanks for your post.
Yes, I my book you waiting longer than you should have to start HIV medications. An earlier start would have likely prevented the disability and quite possibly the need to start PCP prophylaxis (Bactrim) and the fluconazole treatment. Furthermore, persons who wait longer to start medications appear to be at significantly greater risk of developing lipodystrophy and drug-related side effects. Despite this, it's very encouraging to hear that you are feeling better than before.
Now, that said, there is ample evidence that despite your very low CD4 count and high viral load that you're very likely to achieve the desired undectable viral load and have CD4 increases over time. It may take longer for you to reach these benchmarks, since you start with lower (and higher) numbers.
Hope this helps. Keep us informed of your progress. BY
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