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Should i start HAART
Jul 23, 2002

I was diagonised HIV positive in 1996 after heart operation. I went on different type of drugs for a year. I stopped then and have never taken the drugs any ant-retroviruse drugs since then. My CD4 count still is 635. It oscillates around 600 every year. Should start taking drugs or wait till the CD4 count falls down? Should i go for vaccines like hepatits and others? Or would they trigger different reaction.

Response from Dr. Little

The decision to start treatment is a very complex and individual one. I will assume that your viral load is relatively low given your high CD4 off treatment. Many physicians would not recommend treatment at this stage of infection. I will always at least discuss treatment - the relative risks and benefits - and then allow each patient to make up his/her own mind based upon their own short and long term goals. I would certainly recommend standard Hep A and Hep B and Pneumovax vaccines if these are appropriate in your case. I would strongly urge you to find an HIV care provider who will discuss these issues very thoroughly with you before you make a decision.

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