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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
           
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Do I need treatment.?
Nov 6, 2002

Hello, I am a 26 years old male and I was tested HIV+ four years ago, I've been feeling good but a little concern about treatment. Two years ago I did the T-cell and Vl count, and the results were 250 for T-C and 13000 for vl, but I did the t-cell count again lately and the result was 239, does this mean that I should start treatment?, I am a little scared about the dependancy on the meds, I know that once you start you shouldn't stop. What would be good for me?

thans for the help.

Response from Dr. Henry

Most experts believe that a CD4 count in the 200-250 range warrants initiation of treatment (the current US guidelines recommend therapy for CD4 count of < 350). The SMART study now underway recommends therapy of the conservative treatment arm for those with CD4 counts < 250 (due to the investigator's interpretation of the data). Therapy is getting continuously better and simpler (those features are linked!). Treatment does not need to be viewed as permanent. You might discuss with your HIV doc whether you could start treatment for 6 months and then re-evaluate your status but commit to 6 months. The good news is that your blood tests are stable so there is no sense of urgency to get started immediately. KH



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