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when is better to start medicins?
Apr 30, 2010

my doctor told me that my cd 4 are 1380 and virus is 21000. he told me that is at the begining only 3 months now. they give medicins at 300 cd4. if im gonna take them now is better for stoping the virus to make more damages in my body? especially in brain?

Response from Dr. McGowan

Thanks for your question. Thoughts on when to start treatment are changing now. In the US the guidelines recommend starting treatment at 500 CD4 cells, however half of the expert panel felt that treatment should be started above 500 cells. Really it is an individual decision. We are learning that allowing the virus to grow causes inflammation and direct infection of cells that can damage organs of the body, including the brain. There is a study, called START, that is looking to find the best time to start treatment. If a person is willing to take treatment and be adherent to it, I would trteat at a high CD4 count. This is also dependent on having access to newer treatments that carry fewer risk for long-term side effects.

Best,

Joe



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