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Medicines X viral load
Sep 13, 2001

Are medicines necessary in the first stage of aids? I ask this because a friend has gone to the doctor and he did not advise her to take medicines now. He said her viral load is still low (1.600c) and asked her to go back 6 months from now. Is it right? Being with no medication for 6 months can be dangerous? Wouldn't it be better to start now in stead of waiting the viral load increase in this period?

Response from Dr. Boyle

The current DHHS guidelines recommend that physicians and patients consider starting therapy when the CD4+ T cell count is between 200 to 350 cells/mm3 and the viral load is greater than 55,000 copies/mL (by PCR). This recommendation is based upon evidence that patients who start at these levels do just as well as patients who start at higher CD4 and lower viral load levels and reflects a concern regarding problems with antiretroviral adherence and toxicity.



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