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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Sep 12, 2004

Dear Doc: If a person does not create antibodies (I know this is very very rare), do you think ARV's will still be able to help them and would you expect their viral load to be able to reach undetectable levels? Are they more at risk for other infections and faster progression to AIDS even if they are on ARV's?


Response from Dr. Conway

It certainly would be a reason for me to start someone on HAART sooner if they were infected with HIV. HIV weakens the cellular immune system, and leaves the antibody part of the immune system alone, to some extent (although the two are clearly related). So, as soon as someone's CD4 count were to start to go down, I would want to make sure that I do all I can to make it go up, to give the immune system every chance I can to function as well as it could,

Switch or leave well enough alone?
wasting and drug combo

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