Question

Dr. please help.Is a cd4 count of 350 a very dangerous situation?I am not on medicines yet & dr. told me to start the medicine but i am damn worried is it the end?can i recover fast?or its not possible?Because two months back i had a count of 502 which now dropped down to 350.What should i do?How long will it take for the medicines to show result coz as far as diet is concerned i follow a good diet suggested by my dietician.Please help.

Answer

Hello and thanks for posting.

Your doctor is right.

While a CD4 count of 350 is at the lower limit of normal, here in the US and in over 20 other countries around the world (including the France, Spain, Brazil and Argentina),
national HIV treatment guidelines recommend HIV medications for all. Indeed, this year the World Health Organization similarly recommended treatment for all, independent of clinical symptoms or CD4 cell count.

These recommendations are based on the very simple observation that HIV treatment, even in people who have normal counts and no symptoms, significantly reduces the risk of death, TB, cancer and progression to AIDS. In addition, HIV treatment (if it results in an undetectable HIV viral load) makes HIV transmission essentially impossible. With all due respect to your dietician (I'm sure she/he is excellent), diet alone, even the best of diets, won't achieve this.

Current HIV medications reduce HIV viral loads to undetectable levels within 6 months, and far faster if one takes an integrase inhibitor-based regimen (as are recommended in the US and several other countries).

I hope that's helpful, BY