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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
           
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Reg.ART
Mar 6, 2013

i was tested hiv positive last march 2012. So far my CD4 count is 520. I would like to know when i should start taking the ART. I am having some health issues like recurring PID , anthral gastritis and persistent dry coughs. I'v had treatment for these problem before but i still end up with these sickness again. My doctor here says that ART is still quite early for me to start now. I am a bit confused as well as worried and i would like to know your opinion here. Thank you.

Response from Dr. Henry

For patients with high CD4 counts (> 500) the timing of ART is under active debate with guidelines in US recommending treatment for all (though will less data/enthusiasm when CD4 count > 500). There is a large study (the START Trial) that is still recruiting patients with high CD4 counts (to start treatment immediately or wait until CD4 at 350-400)that is trying to address the issue. Starting HIV treatment is ultimately an individual decision and requires enthusiasm from the paitient who ultimately has to be the one taking the medications regularly. Addressing other health problems, mental health,chemical health. homelessness, and other issues often are important aspects of a persons health and can influence the timing of starting HIV treatment as well as which medications to use. KH



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