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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
           
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Time to start meds?
Sep 20, 2005

I've been positive for two years and have yet to start any meds. Labs show CD4 count at 239 Viral Load at 125,000, (I'm a 23 yr old w male). My doctors say I should start soon & I was wondering what you think?

Response from Dr. Henry

According to one data base I often refer to a the general risk to develop an AIDS-related condition over the next 3 years for a person with your most recent lab values (not on treatment) is 64%. That is quite high and can usually be reduced to near 0% chanceonce on treatment with a suppressed virus and a CD4 rebound to > 350. If you are having any symptoms and/or have had a clear drop in CD4 count and/or % then I would be even more certain that starting HIV treatment soon is wise. Ultimately, the most important factor is the patient's own view on the matter and the committment to take medications and work through any side effects which are often experienced in the first several months of treatmnt. KH



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