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HIV Life >> I Just Tested Positive

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Mark100
Member

Reged: 02/23/13
Posts: 27
Loc: Montreal, Canada
Confused on when to start meds? Any suggestions?
      #270872 - 02/28/13 12:10 PM

Hey Guys,
I just met with my doctor today for the blood test results. My CD4 count still wasn't in yet, but my viral load was and it was 150,000. The doctor was like wow, that's high. Then he said you were just recently infected so that's normal. I was infected Dec. 2, 2013.

During the end of the visit he asked me when I'd like to start treatment. And I was like well, I'm not exactly sure, I was relying on your expertise for that answer. He said well if you start now, that means you're going to have to take a pill everyday for the rest of your life. That doesn't really bother me at all. Or he said that we can wait and see how your body responds after the initial infection.

I'm feeling pretty good now. I guess once I get my CD4 count back it will be more clear, but it seemed to me that the doctor thought that I should wait to start treatment. My first instinct was that I want to attack this virus now before it has a chance to cause any more damage, but maybe that's not how it works.

I'm really not sure and would love to hear what any of the rest of you think from your own experiences.

Thanks guys,
Mark

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riverprincessModerator
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Reged: 12/25/11
Posts: 1797
Loc: Jersey Shore
Re: Confused on when to start meds? Any suggestions? new
      #270911 - 03/01/13 04:37 PM

In the end it is a personal choice. First you will be given a geno-typing to see what meds your compatability with . Many believe that the sooner you get your level to undetectable the better it is for your body . And others will say to wait so that your not on meds as long. But it's your decision . All I can say it that your doctor commented on how high your /vL was , You can wait to see how that goes but the ideal thing is to bring that level down to un-detectable no matter what you start out at. I've been pos for over 20yrs and on meds for over 18 . I found that my fears were unjustified after all. But that is me.

--------------------
Look up to the Heavens for the answers to Lifes questions .

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Mark100
Member

Reged: 02/23/13
Posts: 27
Loc: Montreal, Canada
Re: Confused on when to start meds? Any suggestions? new
      #270916 - 03/01/13 09:15 PM

yeah that's what I figure. I don't mind starting them right away..I'm hoping I won't react too badly too them. But to know that virus is inside of me doing whatever it wants...I'd sooner be on medication.

I was a little upset after my initial meeting with my doctor. My cd4 cound wasn't available yet and he seemed to think my viral load was really high, but he also seemed to imply that I might want to wait before going on my medication. I was really confused when I left his office. He also said that we'd meet again sometime in April because he was on vacation during March, and we'd go from there. I would like to make a decsion as soon as humanly possible and don't want to wait until he comes back from vacation.

I have a friend who is a good friend of one of the hiv doctors who works at this clinic and I'm going to try and get switched over to them because this doctor doesn't seem to be looking out for my best interests.
Thanks for the info ;-)
Mark

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riverprincessModerator
Moderator

Reged: 12/25/11
Posts: 1797
Loc: Jersey Shore
Re: Confused on when to start meds? Any suggestions? new
      #271006 - 03/07/13 04:49 PM

If your not comfortable with your doctor by all means switch. This doc you mention sounds more concerned about his vacation . Thats not right, he should of referred to another that would care for you imediatly . Having the right dr is important in many ways. All the best to you my friend.

--------------------
Look up to the Heavens for the answers to Lifes questions .

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iam1
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Reged: 06/17/09
Posts: 167
Loc: Georgia
Re: Confused on when to start meds? Any suggestions? new
      #271087 - 03/11/13 03:08 PM

When to start treatment is a very difficult question sometimes.

With some people their viral load is high and their CD4 count is either low or dropping. These people need to start treatment.

With others such as yourself the viral load isn't low, but isn't excessive. And, not knowing your CD4 count doesn't make the decision any easier. If your CD4 is still in the good range (above 500) I would wait to start treatment.

The high viral load you have may be just regular seroconversion. This is the time where HIV settles into the body and the body starts fighting it. I wish there was a better way of putting this. Makes it sound like HIV is moving into the neighborhood and going to be a bad neighbor. But, that's basically the truth.

If you start taking meds now you WILL have to take them for the rest of your life. With current meds and those in developement that could be a very long life. Most people can't comprehend having to take meds everyday. They think about taking a course of antibiotics or pain pills for a couple weeks. Taking your meds becomes a matter of living. Don't take your meds and you can die. No vacations. No weekends off. No stay-overs at friend's homes without your meds. The first couple weeks are easy. The next couple months takes some adjusting. The next 10 years makes you realize how dependent you are on your meds.

I started taking meds late. Almost too late. Viral load in the millions. CD4 count < 20. I do NOT recommend anyone going this route! I've been on meds for 14 years. In that time I've probably missed less than 10 doses. My last viral load is <20. My last CD4 is > 800.

When should you start? I've discussed this with several people I know. It depends. If your labs are okay and you don't feel confortable taking meds forever - wait. If your labs are okay, but you think you're ready to delve in and devout the time it takes to get and take your meds than by all means do. If your labs aren't looking so hot then consider the alternative. Life with meds or death without. I'm not afraid of death. I'm just not finished living.

Recent studies have shown that simply being HIV+ can have detrimental effects on the body. Better to get it under control as soon as possible.

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Mark100
Member

Reged: 02/23/13
Posts: 27
Loc: Montreal, Canada
Re: Confused on when to start meds? Any suggestions? new
      #271094 - 03/12/13 02:07 PM

Hey aim1,
thanks so much for the great response! Being new to this you end up having a lot of questions. It's great to have a response from someone like you who has some experience ;-)

I've ready a lot about starting medication if your CD4 count is less than 500, like you mentioned but I haven't read anything about if you CD4 count is above 500, what's a good viral level to have before you begin treatment. Would a CD4 of above 500 with a viral load of say 5000 be ok to not take medication. I'm just scared that the higher the viral load in the body, the more damage it might be doing to my body (I'm not sure if this is true or not).

I'm meeting with another doctor at my clinic tomorrow so I should know my cd4 count, and with this number I'll have a better idea of what to do. It'll be a different doctor this time so I'll get a second opinion which will help me in my decision as well.

Thanks again for your very helpful response.
Health and happiness to you ;-)
Mark



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