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When to start ARV
May 17, 2008

i was diagnosed a month and two weeks ago, my CD4 is 373, hvnt had my viral results, my lymphocyte test is 1600 or 16000 as was told by the doctor. I dnt want to develop AIDS, i am a v positive person, what can i do so stay health, do i need to start ARV. is i dont start ARV, will the CD4 count drop?

Response from Dr. Young

Hello and thanks for your post.

There's no emergency to start HIV medications. That said, if your CD4 count level is confirmed with a second test and your otherwise willing and able to take medications, I'd recommend starting. Your CD4 count is close enough to the level of 350 that waiting around for it to drop the last 23 cells seems to me to be over-thinking the precision of the test and frankly just has you waiting around for your risk of disease to increase. I'm more proactive than that with my patients.

There's a lot of information that I'd still want to have before deciding on exactly which medications, but that's another question.

I hope this is helpful. Best of health to you.


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