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my partner has a question
May 9, 2012

thank you so much for having answered my two questions. i am wilmer from nicaragua and i am taking combivir (lamivudine and zidovudine) and kaletra since december 10th 2011 plus trimetrophin sulfamethazol... my question is ... my partner is also hiv positive he has cd count of 629 and viral load of 9000 approximately... he did not received treatment in january when he saw my second results... he got worried to see how fast i had changed my viral load with the treatment ... he is going to get his second result on thursday and he is worried to see worst numbers since he does not want to begin treatment... is there a way to improve cd count or to reduce viral load without treatment... i told him not to be depressed caused depression is bad for the body and favors hiv... what is your advise... what can you expect... here in nicaragua they give medication only in your cd count is less than 500... i used efavirenz during 5 days in december they changed it cause it was affecting my nervous system... thank... which one is better efavirez... or kaletra... thank you so much doctor...

Response from Dr. Young

Hello again and thanks for posting.

There's a very wide range of individual responses to HIV. Your partner has a normal CD4 count and quite low HIV viral load- suggesting that his immune system is doing a good job in controlling the virus, and also suggesting that his rate of CD4 decline should be relatively slow.

There isn't any single way to improve CD4s other than treatment with HIV medications, when needed. That said, this is a good time to really concentrate on good preventive medicine; things like getting good diet, exercise, avoiding tobacco and excess alcohol, for example.

As for efavirenz versus Kaletra, both are very potent components of HIV treatments; efavirenz is more widely used, but either can play an important role in treatments. Kaletra is more often associated with gastrointestinal side effects; efavirenz with psychological effects. The real issue is to find a regimen that you tolerate well and can stay on.

Be well, BY



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