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Anonymous
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When to begin treatment
      #46949 - 12/06/02 02:12 PM

I know lots of people say to begin treatment before t-cells fall to 200. Mine are 200 and my viral load is 50,000. I guess I have to start. Anyone out there waited without consequence?



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Anonymous
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Re: When to begin treatment new
      #46966 - 12/06/02 04:07 PM

I wouldn't wait. You risk getting an opportunistic infection. I had a friend who waited too long and got PCP. but if you're viral load and cell count is this again, I would get treatment.



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Anonymous
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Re: When to begin treatment new
      #46972 - 12/06/02 05:08 PM

I agree that with the 200 t-cell, and 50,000 viral load, it would be appropriate to start meds. = you can easily reverse this before you get an OI, (as previously mentioned). The very best wishes to you, Karla



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Anonymous
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Re: When to begin treatment new
      #46980 - 12/06/02 05:34 PM

don't wait. It's too big a risk. And don't start with a protease inhbitor. Start with 2 nrtis and tenofovir. It's the latest research but it seems great.



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HereToLearn
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Reged: 11/18/02
Posts: 14
Re: When to begin treatment new
      #47156 - 12/07/02 01:20 AM

You ask if anyone has waited without consequences.

If I were in your shoes, I would ask "What are the odds that I will develop an OI?" if I wait, and "If I do, how bad will it be?"

According to the treatment guidelines at:
www.aidsinfo.nih.gov/guidelines

There is strong support from randomized clinical trials for a person with your counts to start treatment.

In one study this site refers to, 50-85% of untreated patients in your range developed an AIDS defining illness within 3 years, and that increases to 75-98% over 6 years without treatment. Those are pretty bad odds.

In addition to pure misery and immediate threat to your life from an OI, you also put yourself at risk of irreversible immune system depletion and possible greater difficulty in suppressing viral replication.

Has your doctor recommended a specific combination of medications? Why not ask who here is taking those med & doing ok?

Best wishes.



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HereToLearn
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Reged: 11/18/02
Posts: 14
Re: When to begin treatment new
      #47220 - 12/07/02 03:59 PM

Sorry to be replying to myself, but I thought I should add:

I'm not personally living with HIV, so it might not be appropriate for me to be giving advice here.

I've been reading some accounts of the early years of the AIDS epidemic & they are so pain-filled and sad. I felt worried when I read your post that you were looking for a way to justify not starting treatment. The images of full-blown AIDS are so frightening to me that I felt like I had to say something.

So, you can consider my advice to be that of a concerned bystander, who wasn't intending to give advice.

Still sending you good wishes...



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Anonymous
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Re: When to begin treatment new
      #47898 - 12/09/02 07:49 AM

Don't take the chance with a low t-cell count. You risk PML, lymphoma etc...


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Anonymous
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Re: When to begin treatment new
      #47903 - 12/09/02 10:56 AM

If you are under the care of a DR most would have started treatment by now. Meds are usually prescribed when T cells hit 300 or so. Please see about a regimen ASAP. Good luck.



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Pedro
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Re: When to begin treatment new
      #47919 - 12/09/02 12:39 PM

You probably want to look back at how quickly you got to this point - did your T cells drop slowly/steadily, or have they been varying a lot? Has your viral load been stable, or rising? Do you have any symptoms attributable to HIV?
If you have been very well and counts very stable, you may choose to wait a bit before taking the plunge, assuming you keep a close eye on what your blood test results are doing. Have your doc recheck them every 2-3 months. If your count drops below 200, you will need OI prophylaxis, and may need to start HIV meds.
Better to discuss with your physician - if s/he is not approachable or willing to help out - get another one.



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