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Please answer me... Thank you
Oct 11, 2012

Just got my lab results: Absolute CD4: 218 cells/ %CD4: 17%

I am not sure what medications should I be taking. I told my doctor I would be re-visiting him 3 months later as I am having severe financial constraints to fork out for my meds. Should I be going for my medication now, and what kind of medication should I go for?

Response from Dr. Young

Hello and thank you for posting.

Your labs would indicate that you should be starting on HIV medications in the near future. We define AIDS (or risk of serious AIDS complications) when CD4 counts are below 200 or 15%. With your 218 and 27% values, your perilously close to these levels.

I would not recommend waiting 3 months to initiate this process, but rather work with a community organization, case manager or peer navigator to figure out how to best obtain care and care with the least financial impact to you.

Most communities have programs to provide this assistance; alternatively explore the possibility of participation in HIV clinical studies. Studies usually provide no-cost medications and laboratory monitoring. In our program, this is a way that patients who are financially challenged can sometimes get access to medications.

The medications you should be on are any of the recommended 3 or 4-drug antiretroviral regimens. has several resources about starting medications for HIV. Take a look; I trust that they will be of value to you.


switching medication
multivitamins and arttipla arv

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