Jul 10, 2007
My uncle is HIV positive for at least 13 years. He has told me that his T cell count is at 13 and is refusing treatment. His doctor is trying to get him to take some really "toxic" medicine. I wanted to know your opinion on whether or not he should undertake this treatment, or let this virus run its course. He has been off of meds for several years because he suffered severe undesired side effects from previous treatments. Thank you, Chris.
Response from Dr. Young
Thanks for your post.
I'm very sorry to hear about your uncle. He indeed has a very low CD4 cell count and is at high risk of having AIDS complications.
I'm not sure what "toxic" medications you or his doctor are referring to, but the newest generation of HIV medications are both very effective against multi-drug resistant virus and are very well tolerated-- far better than previous treatments.
Using such newest generation medications and the best available resistance testing (phenotype and genotype), nearly all of our clinic's multidrug resistant patients now have undetectable viral loads and returning CD4s.
Hope this helps. Feel free to write back with any follow up questions. BY
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