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Why bother with meds?

Aug 31, 2005

I became + in November of 2000. Since then I have refused to go on meds of any type. I do this not because I am concerned about side effects (though that is the reason most commonly given). It is more because I really don't see the point of starting them. Rather like a case of throwing drug money away. If I'm going to die, I can do it in my own time, when I'm still enjoying myself (when I am enjoying myself, which varies week to week). I guess my question is, does this make sense? Why should I start meds when I don't see the point of continuing on them indefinitely?

Response from Dr. Horwath

You should start antiretroviral meds because it will prolong your health, your functioning, your ability to enjoy life, and your survival.

You didn't mention if you are a candidate for treatment. HAART is usually started when the CD4 (T cell) count falls below 350, or the viral load is above 55,000, or when symptoms develop (or some combination). If you qualify for one of these criteria, then you should consult with an HIV specialist about starting on HAART.

The benefits of HAART are clear, but you should discuss it with a doctor. The choice, of course, is yours to make.

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