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Should I wait for the meds?
Aug 27, 2008

Hello Doctor,

Last December (2007), I was diagnosed with being HIV+ and up until June of this year saw my doctor for a referral to an infectious disease specialist. After we talked, he wanted me to be in a clinical trial that will last about two years. The problem: my tcell count is dropping quite fast. It was at 218 in June...now it's at around 175. He put me on Bactrim but had to stop as the side-effects are terrible on my body. The worst having flu-like symptoms with temperature and headaches. I'm wondering if I should wait until my doctor gives me the go-ahead for the trial which could be in another 2 or so weeks or proceed with having him prescribe some meds?

Response from Dr. DeJesus

Unfortunately by the time that you read this response you may have made your decision.

Although your CD4 numbers are on the low side, this is not an emergency, and certainly your HIV treatment initiation can be delayed safely for a few weeks with minimal risk. In many occasions the benefits of participating in a well conducted clinical trial, overweight this small risk of waiting for a few weeks at those CD4 numbers that you have.

Hope this answer, if it did not help you, will help someone else confronting the same dilemma.



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