Question

I am HIV positive and my CD4 is 270 and d virus load is 3500,at the moment my doctor say i should hold on when its time i will start taking drugs, tell me if i start taking this drugs how much time would i have to live. What is the effect of the drugs on me if i start it. what is the chances of some one with the HIV and taking the drugs.

Answer

Current opinion would be that you should be starting therapy sooner rather than later given your current CD4, assuming you have access to care. The current standard of care regimens, like those listed in the DHHS guidelines, should effectively suppress your virus and have a good record for long term (more than years and extrapolated data suggests possibly "indefinite") effectiveness with good safety. Most of the side effects seem to occur "early" and are mostly mild in intensity. Some regimens are once daily with good forgiveness in terms of dose-timing accuracy. So the chances are, if you have a susceptible virus and can take your meds with 100% reliability, that the longer term issues may relate to other diseases like liver disease (if you have hepatitis or drink lots of alcohol), smoking-related disease, heart and kidney disease. So looking after your general health with no smoking, a good diet and exercise is critical.

Best of luck, Dr. Moyle