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Recently diagnosed, CD4 count + viral load tests
Aug 11, 2012

Hello, I am a 19 year old male and I discovered a few months ago that I am HIV+. I became very ill before and that's why I got tested. So I am in the early stages of this. I had my CD4 count and viral load tested for the first time a month ago. CD4 count was 330 and viral load was over 500,000. My doctor was ready to put me on medications but I told her that it would probably be best to wait and take another test a month later. I will get those results tomorrow. So when should I actually start treatment? What is the best treatment out there? Can I really live a long life? I do not smoke or do any kinds of drugs. I am not a heavy drinker. I am active and healthy. I eat and sleep properly. I live in a very clean and healthy environment and I have good doctors. This all came to me as a huge shock. I still can't believe it, but I am dealing with this quite well actually and have a huge support from good friends. I am going to continue living my life to fullest and will keep a positive attitude! There's no way I am going to let this thing take over my body!

Response from Dr. Young

Hello and thanks for posting.

Sorry to hear that you were recently diagnosed, especially at such a young age. Current US treatment guidelines recommend considering treatment in nearly all patients, especially those with CD4 counts below 350- like you.

The most current guidelines issued by the IAS-USA recommend a range of first-line regimens. Indeed, it's my opinion that like shoes, one regimen (or one size) doesn't fit all, but rather, that regimens should be tailored to your virus (resistance, or viral load), you (your health, organ problems) and your life style (work, sleep, play habits).

I'd suggest looking over our Resource Center on Starting HIV Treatment as well as our Guide on Talking to Your Doctor. Together, I think that these can be useful tools in helping you have a productive and trusting conversation with your healthcare provider about your best options.

Be well, BY

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