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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
           
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jorston
Sep 29, 2004

I was just diagnosed + in late Aug after being very sick. I have had - anti body test since then. Had - test in May this year and earlier in Feb. My t-cell is 395, my vl is 190k down from 760K. Can I expect to improve as I was recently very sick? Is being very sick upon initial infection a sign that I will become sick sooner and need to begin treatment sooner?

Response from Dr. Henry

Some data suggests that being very ill during primary (new) HIV infection is associated with a greater chance to progress quickly. If your HIV level does not drop down (<<100,000 copies/ml) and CD4 stabilize or increase in the next several months I usually would start thinking about starting treatment. There are a number of studies which are enrolling newly infected persons to help sort out what is the best approach which remains controversial. Treating for 6 months and then re-evaluating the situation is an approach I follow in many cases. Hopefully you have connected with a user friendly HIV specialist to discuss your options with all the facts at hand. KH



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