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HIV Health and Treatment Issues >> Treatment & Side Effects

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Anonymous
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Experience sought with med starting times...
      #217146 - 12/06/06 12:22 AM

Have you started meds early in infection or later after an OI, low CD4? Can you share experience? Trying to figure best time to begin and what are advantages and disadvantages of starter sooner or later?

TY

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Anonymous
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Re: Experience sought with med starting times... new
      #217328 - 12/07/06 09:18 AM

When I found out I was HIV+ 2 1/2 years ago, I had not "felt" any different. I still worked as hard as I ever did and continued to do my everyday routine to the fullest. When I received my first consult with the HIV specialist I was told that (on paper) I was very, very sick........so I started meds right away. I can honestly say that I still have "felt" no difference. I feel like one of the fortunate ones who have never been much affected by the meds I take (sustiva+epzicom). While I trust my doctor and have every confidence in him and his staff, I believe we must be responsible for our own healthcare by staying informed and asking lots of questions. So to answer your question, for me it was an advantage to start the meds immediately....I personally would not of wanted to just "wait and see".

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Anonymous
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Re: Experience sought with med starting times... new
      #217579 - 12/08/06 11:12 AM

Hey guy:
I think you have a mistaken notion that you have your bloodwork done and then start meds. That just doent happen much anymore. If your numbers are in the normal to low normal range......your doctor should draw blood every 3 or 4 months and establish a pattern ( either rising, faling or staying the same). If after a year your numbers have continued to deteriorate then you will be started on meds. But be sure the doc does the resistence test. This will establish what meds you are good with.
If your numbers continue to hold in ,say, the VL 12,000 to 20,000 range and a CD4 count of 350 or greater, with a percentage in the 15 to 20 % area. Then you could be good to go for a few more years without meds.

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Anonymous
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Re: Experience sought with med starting times... new
      #217580 - 12/08/06 11:15 AM

In any case.......................avoid oppurtunistic infections at all cost. Bactrim and other meds are given as a propylaxis for OI's.

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Anonymous
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Re: Experience sought with med starting times... new
      #217739 - 12/09/06 12:02 PM

I was diagnosed during the acute stage of infection, six weeks after i contracted the virus in fact. My viral load was well above 500,000 but fortunately my cd4 count was still above 600. I was immediately put on medications after three months my viral load was undetectable, and it has remained so for the last three years, fortunately I've always been well about keeping myself healthy and my viral load is still undetectable and my cd4 count is above 1100, and i believe this is in no small part due to the rapid application of medications, which i believe curtailed any largescale immune system damage.

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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: Experience sought with med starting times... new
      #217855 - 12/10/06 05:37 PM

I was very scared when my doctor insisted that I start meds after my Tcells dropped to 250. But, I have noticed that overall, I am feeling much better, and while I had some side effects, they faded after a couple months. I am GLAD my doctor insisted on treatment. Sometimes fear is a greater demon than any potential drug side effects. And once you start meds, KEEP on them. I am 100% compliant since starting May of 2006. I've never missed a dose! yay!

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slitter028
Member

Reged: 10/16/07
Posts: 16
Loc: Carrollton, Kentucky
Re: Experience sought with med starting times... new
      #237438 - 03/13/08 06:26 AM

I started meds as soon as i found out...My labs indicated that i didn't NEED to start, but i elected to anyway. Drawbacks: Obvious side effects, YOUR willingness to take the meds, Cost.
Benefits: Well, that's apparent
This is a choice that you and your doctor should make together..Don't let them tell you what to do..Be an informed consumer and advocate for yourself. If you decide to treat and your doc doesn't ...find a new one, Most doctors will prescribe if they feel that you are willing and able to obtain and take the meds as prescribed....Best of Luck..
Ray

--------------------
Best of luck...Remember, EVERY PILL, EVERY DAY
Ray

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