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early treatment to reduce speed of spreading through CD4 cells
Aug 24, 2007

I was tested HIV+ from a sample taken on 8 Aug 07. Would early treatment delay the spreading of virus through my CD4 tissues thus delaying the time for AIDS onset? I may be co-infected with HepB (core + for the first time. Still have not got surface antigen results). Can healthy stem cells be removed from my body and frozen until CD4 drop dangerously?

I get no sleep with the idea of missing an opportunity to delay AIDS onset.

Thank You

Response from Dr. Daar

Thank you for your post.

It is important to distinguish between newly diagnosed and newly infected. Anyone with a first positive test is newly diagnosed, but only those with reason to believe they were negative in the previous months are newly infected. In the latter case there is some reason to believe that early therapy may reduce viral spreading. However, most data suggests that virus will persist at some level in everybody regardless of how early therapy is initiated.

While it is interesting to think about how early therapy might influence disease, I would not miss a minute of sleep. The overwhelming majority of patients who take care of their physicial and mental well-being will do great on antiretroviral therapy regardless of when they start treatment.

Currently there is no data or reason to believe that storing stem cells will be of value in the future. This is partly because I would not expect that your CD4 cells will ever drop to dangerous levels if you work closely with an expert HIV provider and take care of yourself. Bottom line, take a deep breath, everything should be fine.

Best, Eric


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