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Shall I stop taking alchohal
Apr 18, 2007

Should a patient diagonised with HIV who has a CD4 count of around 400 and viral load of 150,000 start treatment? At this stage should they stop using alcohol?

Response from Dr. Daar

The decision as to when antiretroviral therapy should be started is a complex one and requires a thorough discussion between the given patient and their provider. In general, guidlines suggest starting if there are any HIV-related symptoms or a CD4 count below 200 cells/uL. If CD4 cells are 200-350 cells/uL many would consider starting treatment. For those with CD4 cells above 350 most would watch off therapy, however if viral loads are >100,000 copies/mL and/or CD4 cells are on the decline this might prompt some to consider treatment if the patient were in a good physical and psychological state to do so.

Occassional alcohol use is not a problem. If people have hepatitis B or C infection or are using excessive amounts of alcohol then it best be minimize or stop using alcohol.

Best, Eric


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