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Should I quit work due to low CD4?

Nov 16, 2012

I recently tested HIV+. My CD4 is 169 and right now, I'm waiting for certain tests to be done in order for me to start taking ARVs. I'm taking cotrimoxazole until my CD4 is more than 200. I'll probably start taking ARVs a week from now. My question is whether or not I should quit my job because my CD4 is low and I might get infected? I work in a regular office as a call center rep.

Response from Dr. Fawcett

Thanks for writing. You are handling a lot of news and changes right now and I believe any long-term and major decisions should be deferred as best you can. It is true that you are at somewhat higher risk at the present time but that should improve with ARVs. Being newly diagnosed, you will most likely lead a very long and normal life, including career. I would look into the possibility of short-term medical leave while you adjust to this new diagnosis as well as the medications. That will take the pressure off you to make major, life-changing decisions right now and will help you avoid quitting a job that you may very well be ready and wanting to go back to in a few months.

Good luck, David

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