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Starting ARV's
May 11, 2010

Hi,I am 28 year old lady.Diagnose in 2005 and I had a CD4 count of 312 and a viral load of 1290 as from 2005 till 2007 the last time I checked.My CD4 never went up as well as my vl.This year my cd4 count was still under 350 and my viral load is 3780.I was never sick and my doctor has advise me to start on medication,which I felt it was too early because my viral load is still low.To me it looked like my HIV was not progressing as fast as it could like in other people.I wanted to carry on taking the multi vitamins that I was taking(beta carotene,zinc,selenium wirh vit E,Vitamin B complex).Now what I want to know.Did my doctor do the right thing in starting me on medication?I am currently on Truvada and Stocrine

Response from Mr. Vergel

Starting HIV medications is a personal decision. The current HIV treatment guidelines recommend treatment for people like you. Studies have shown that people who start at about your CD4 cell count can have almost full restoration of their immune system. It is a great thing that your viral load remains low even without treatment. To really understand the effect of starting treatment at your CD4 cell count, you can read this great article about how CD4 at HAART Initiation Predicts Long Term CD4 Responses and Mortality from AIDS and non-AIDS Causes in the HIV Outpatient Study (HOPS)

http://www.natap.org/2010/CROI/croi_85.htm

Nelson



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