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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
          
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How long before meds
Apr 19, 2006

HIV neg April 05 HIV pos Nov. 05 Dec 22 05 results CD4: 400 (40%)VL 278 Jan 23 05 results CD4:478 (40%) VL 158 April 10 06 results CD4:553 (37%) VL 1610, next check in July. I am 52 in good health. Based on your experience/statisticsapproximately how many years before I need to go on meds?

Response from Dr. Henry

Your lab work and hopefully health is stable so that is good news. According to many of the natural history HIV studies you have a very low chance (close to 0%) of developing an AIDS related problem over at least the next 3 years. In the pre-therapy days the average time in the US from infection to developing AIDS was around 10 years. Treatment should be started before a patient is at high risk to develop AIDS related problems and when the chances for side effects are lower and odds for immune recovery are higher. We are still learning about the best time to start therapy but as the treatments improve (easier to tolerate ) the treatment pendulum is swinging towards earlier start for therapy (in US CD4 threshold now at 350). Each person is different regarding their rate of loss of CD4 count, symptoms, and own treatment philosophy so ultimately it is a highly individualized decision. KH



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