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My first lab test - should i start meds?
Mar 8, 2010

Afternoon Dr

I got positive 2 years ago (Dec 2007) and I tried to denied, it was an early detections since I get tested every 6 month. Just last week I got the strength to get my first lab test and these are the numbers:

CD4: 405, CD4%: 17 and VL: 9,326

In regular basis I read your comments in the forums trying to learn as much possible so when my get my labs results will be easy for me to take a decision but I am finding out that I am not even close to know what to do (The worst is that I still dont have an HIV specialist/Doctor, I will start finding one this week)

My question is: based on my lab results, what is your recommendation? I see my CD4 above 350, but my CD4% is at 17 but VL is not really high, should I start considering taking meds or should I wait 1 or 2 months and get new labs to see the trend? I am 43 years old and I feel just perfect, I have no infections, not even cold or so.

Thanks you very much

Response from Dr. McGowan

Thanks for your question.

Based on the latest treatment guidelines in the US and a growing body of scientific evidence, you would be a candidate to start treatment. Both CD4 and CD4% are consistent and would point toward treatment.

I would suggest a different attitude toward treatment and your infection. I know that visiting the doctor and getting the blood tests can be stressful because it reminds you of having HIV especially when you feel well. But, there will always be that anxiety about getting sick or having your CD4 count drop unless you take action to stop the virus. Instead of dreading the medication you should look at it as taking charge and fighting back against the infection. So far the virus has run the show and you are just letting it have full run. It is time to suppress it and let your body heal.

Best, Joe

Low CD4 & Weight
Follow-up to First Labs, Should I Start Meds

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