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Diagnosed in 2008 High CD4 and increasing Viral Load
May 16, 2013

I have been positive for over 5 years now. I consider myself a very healthy active person. I am not on medication because I did not want to start until my CD4 was closer to 500 because that was what I was told when I first found out. In my last test results my CD4 increased from 750 to over 960, and my Viral load went from 4000 to 8000. Do I need to consider medication with an increase in viral load or simply because of the amount of time since I was diagnosed or can I continue to wait?

Response from Dr. Young

Hi and thanks for posting.

Your question raises several interesting points.

First, there's no meaningful difference between viral load measurements of 4000 and 8000; similarly, though encouraging, the differences in CD4 (unless accompanied by similar increases in CD4 percentages) might not be biologically significant.

Current US treatment guidelines no longer use a CD4 count threshold for initiating treatment- medications are recommended for all people living with HIV who are willing to take antiretroviral medications. The recommendations from 5 years ago, are, 5 years old.

If I were in your shoes, I'd discuss your best treatment options with your care provider.

I hope that helps, BY



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