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When is it too late for ARVs?
May 25, 2008

Dear Dr Young

I have noticed that there is mostly information on when an HIV positive person can start ARVs. I am however curious to find out when can it be said to be too late for ARVs. I have a friend who was recently diagnosed but her CD4 is now very very low and she is unwilling to take ARVs because she thinks it is too late and a waste of money. She has been in and out of hospital lately. What is your advise?

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your post.

I'm afraid your friend is seriously mistaken. While I believe it's better to start ARVs with higher counts than lowest counts; it's never too late.

I have a number of patients who were diagnosed HIV+ and initiated ARVs with single-digit CD4 counts- nearly all have recovered their health (and CD4s).

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