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Should I start meds?
Jul 17, 2009

I tested positive in October 2008 for HIV. I have never been sick not even a simple cold for over four to five years. However I have tracked my CD4 and VL three times since testing positive.

11/08 CD4= 338 VL 66,000 01/09 CD4= 449 VL 33,000 06/09 CD4= 473 VL 74,000

Before giving blood on 06/09 I was given my last of three Hepatitis A & B vaccine.

I have never taken any kind of medication and am afraid of forgetting to take the meds for the HIV.

What would you recommend?

Response from Dr. McGowan

I would not fear treatment. There is no urgency to start now since your CD4 has gone above 350, but I would prepare to start meds. There is growing evidence that the benefit of earlier treatment would outweigh the risks. I am glad that you are a bit worried. The people who do best are the ones who are thoughtful and take the commitment seriously. There are tools you can use such as a pre-filled pill box or reminder beepers to stay on top of your meds. With time it will become part of your daily routine.

Good luck,

Joe



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