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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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cd4 268 viral load 1000
May 14, 2008

My NP wants to start me on Atripla with my viral load being 1000. I think that is rather low but she says its because my CD4 is 268 that she wants to start me on meds. I am very apprehensive about starting medications What is your view on this? Is is highly recommended to start meds at this point.

Response from Dr. Henry

The decision to start HIV medications is driven mainly by the risk for development of AIDS defining events which is best assessed by the CD4 count. In addition, the lower the CD4 count is at start the less likely it is that it will rebound to > 500 which is a good target to minimize any HIV related health problems over the decades ahead. The evidence is strong for a clinical benefit for persons with a CD4 count < 350 so I concur with the recommendation to start treatment though the decision ultimately rests with the patient and when they are willing and able to commit to long term treatment. KH

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