|At what point should I start HIV medication?
Jun 9, 2010
I was dignosed with HIV 4 years ago. I have not taken any medication yet, my T-Cells are at 597. I was told I need to start an HIV treatment, no matter how how my T-cells are. is this true? or can I continue to wait until is below 300?
Response from Dr. Young
Hello and thanks for your post.
First, you should really never start on medications until your willing and able to take them.
Second, current US treatment guidelines (Dec 2009) recommend considering starting treatment when CD4 counts are below 500 in asymptomatic persons. If you have heart-, kidney or liver disease, most would recommend starting irrespective of CD4. If you're older (say, more than 45 or 50), then I'd consider starting much sooner, rather than later (ie., when counts are above 500).
I would not generally recommend waiting for counts to fall below 350 (or as you've said, 300)- doing so has been shown in several studies to increase risk of drug-related side effects and even increase risk of death. Mostly, the key thing is to develop a trusting dialog with healthcare providers that are well trained and whom you trust.
I hope this helps.
Yellow Fever Vaccination and Being HIV+
This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.
Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither TheBody.com nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.