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Follow-up Question - Supplements
May 12, 2013

Thank you for your response, Dr. Young.

Yes, it was very helpful indeed. The only reason why my friend is taking supplements is because the clinic (affiliated with our government health care) has not yet included him in any of the programs and he has not received prescription for ARV drugs (from the attending physician).

Shouldn't a person who tested positive automatically receive ARV meds?

Again, thank you for answering my previous question.

Sincerely, Jayson

Response from Dr. Young

Hello Jayson and good to hear back from you.

The issue of when to start medications is indeed very important. Here in the US, ART is recommended for all people living with HIV. These are the most progressive (or some would argue, agressive) recommendations in the world.

Elsewhere, mostly because of differences in financial considerations, ART is initiated only after CD4 cells and immune function declines to levels that put people at greater risk for complications. Usually this is when CD4s are below 500 or 350.

In either event, ART is not the only thing that HIV care consists of-- there's much to do with regard to preventive medical care, such as vaccinations, assessments of other health issues (heart, kidney, liver, bone and mental health issues, for example) and preventive medical counseling around substance use and safer sex.

For additional information about management of non-AIDS issues (ie, things other than ART) and healthy aging, you might take a look at IAPAC's myHIVclinic.org.

I hope that's helpful, BY



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