FAQs About Starting HIV Treatment
September 16, 2013
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Starting Early | Treatment Guidelines | Deciding Whether to Start Meds | Pregnancy and Starting Treatment | Resistance
- Is it possible for me to be functionally cured of HIV if I start treatment very early, soon after infection?
- Is starting HIV treatment during acute infection better for you?
- As an expert on HIV, if you were diagnosed today, would you start treatment right away no matter what?
- What's considered starting "early" versus starting "late"?
- I keep reading that the new drugs have few side effects. If I am going to be on treatment for many years anyway, why should I wait to start instead of beginning treatment immediately?
- Could starting HIV treatment shortly after being infected protect my immune system from long-term damage?
- My CD4 count is high (700) and my viral load isn't too bad (15,000), but I want to reduce my transmission risk as much as possible. My doctor keeps telling me that HIV meds are "not recommended" right now, but can he actually prohibit me from starting treatment?
- I started treatment when my viral load was 80,000 and my CD4 count was about 900. There seems to be a lot of conflicting information in the medical literature about when to start HIV treatment. Did I start too early?
- My viral load was greater than 10 million, while my CD4 count was 330, so my doctor started me on meds. Ten weeks after starting, my viral load is undetectable and my CD4 count is 500. I know this is all great news, but should I really have started treatment so quickly?
Deciding Whether to Start Meds
Pregnancy and Starting Treatment
For frequently asked questions on other HIV/AIDS topics, click here.
Comment by: Lovelylady
Tue., Feb. 4, 2014 at 12:37 pm EST
First of all, I would like to say I've been living with the HIV/AIDS virus for almost 22 years. However, now that you contracted the virus doesn't mean it's the end of the world. Thus, a new beginning in your life. Yes, the viral load are copies of the HIV virus and it is possible you can spread it. That's how your received it. As to when to begin the medication, that's your decision, but I wouldn't suggest you allow the viral load get up in the millions. Also you can live with HIV/AIDS for many, many years, as you can see I am an example. Yet, you have to read illustrates attend workshops on HIV/AIDS and take care of yourself. This is how I take care of myself I take my medication daily, eat right, get enough of rest exercise sometimes and most importantly I try to stay away from stress. About 15 years ago I said to myself, I'm the owner of this body (building) and the virus (tenant) and it's will respect me till it can't respect me any longer. Besides taking care of myself I will fight whatever ailments I encounter till I can't fight any longer and AIDS overpower me( organs) and my T-cells can't fight any more. With that saying every one take care of yourself and remember it's mind over matter. Your mind controls your surrounding not your surrounding controls your mind!!!
Comment by: Debbie Gaspar
(Redwood City, CA)
Thu., Nov. 14, 2013 at 6:43 am EST
I enjoyed your article about two new meds for first time users being approved in the last few months. I think that is fantastic. I noticed that Complera was not on the list. I have been HIV+ for at least 24 years. I only started on meds about 3 years ago. Complera had just recently come out on the market and was for for medication naive folks. It's one pill once daily taken with food. I have not had any side effects. I had many people in my life that I watched take so many pills multiple times a day, with food, without food, with horrible side effects. In the end most of them passed. I have a few left but it made me afraid of ever having to take meds. The time came, I needed to start so I am greatful for Complera.
Comment by: subash
Wed., Sep. 18, 2013 at 8:52 am EDT
Namaste Dr i am male 47, positive since 9/2009,CD4 is 627,CD 4 + T cells percentage is 20.53. my doctor suggest me to wait to start medicines. pl confirm or pl give good suggestion. thanq sir.
Comment by: natalie trudeaux
Mon., May. 13, 2013 at 7:55 pm EDT
This is not for facebook. This is not a facebook Post. How do i know if my retroviral is still effective for my illness? Ive been on Atripla and it now makes me nausaeted. Ive got doctor's appointments coming up and i need to tell my physician everything..should i?
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