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When should HIV infected patient start taking medicine?
Dec 31, 2010

Good afternoon doctor, a close relative of mine was recently diagnosted as HIV positive. She informed the family that her doctor said she did not have to start taking medicine yet. I am concerned she may be in denial and lying. Could that be possible? If so, at what point someone with HIV positive should start on meds?

Response from Dr. McGowan

The current guidelines suggest to start HIV treatment if either one has symptoms of HIV infection or if one's CD4 count is below 500 cells/mm3. Some studies have even suggested that it might be appropriate to start when the CD4 count is above 500 cells/mm3. Your relative may wish to discuss the risks and benefits of starting treatment early with her doctor. Thanks Joe



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