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why begin trtmnt
Nov 16, 2005

90,000 viral load 260 t-cell. newly diagnosed in mid-'03. I have not had an infection, no illnesses, I am clean and sober 6 months, I like how I feel now physically, and am emotionally stabalizing. I have heard why I should begin trtmnt, I would like to hear some reasons why I should wait to begin trtmnt. Thank You.

Response from Dr. Henry

When to start treatment can be a highly variable and individualized decision. Many factors other than just CD4 count and viral load may impact risk for illness (many we don't regularly measure which have to do with genetics, immunology, viral factors, etc). If you were Jo Average your risk to develop an AIDS-defining serious infection over the next 3 years would be around 40% (which is relatively high) while if you were to go on treatment the risk would drop to close to 0-3%. Since we don't know if you will recover your CD4 cells well (most do but some don't) then waiting for them to drop to the AIDS range before starting treatment involves some risk as well. The available treatments in resouce rich countries are getting better, simpler, and more tolerable. Ultimately, if you are really ready to start treatment after considering all the angles is the most important factor of all. KH



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