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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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When to start the treatment
Jan 10, 2006

I was detected HIV +ve about 4.5 years back. My husband had expired due to same 4.5 years back.

My current Viral Load is about 450000 and my CD4 count is 390.

These are my yearly details 2005: 450000 copies/mL, CD4 390 2004: 22000 copies/mL, CD4 594 2003: 13000 copies/mL, CD4 702

I was surprised to see such high viral load during recent tests.

I have not started any medication till now.

Do I need to start medication now ? What kind of medication should I start and what is risk of side effects.

Please help.

Thanks, Preeti.

Response from Dr. Conway

Over time, it is quite clear that your immune disease is progressing. At this time, it is not absolutely necessary that you begin, given that your CD4 count is well above 200 and still above 350. However, the high viral load suggests that the CD4 count may decrease more quickly, so I might want to check it every month or so for the next 3-4 month. If it is decreasing rapidly (especially if it dips below 300 or so), you might consider starting therapy. In this day and age, once daily therapy is almost the norm with the total pill count being as low as 2/day, so many simple options are available to you if you need them.

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