When should someone start treatment?

Question

I was diagnosed in July of 2008. At last count (October) my cd 4 count was 501 and my viral load was 2489. I am trying to figure out if I should go ahead and start treatment. I know that I'm healthy, but I've heard that starting early when you don't need the meds can be beneficial. But I also know that by doing this I'm making a commitment that shouldn't be taken lightly, and that the risk of becoming resistant is there. What do you suggest?

Answer

Hello and thanks for your post.

The most current treatment guidelines recommend treatment for anyone who has significant HIV symptoms or for asymptomatic persons with CD4 counts that are reproducibly below 350.

There are a few special categories for the initiation of treatment- namely pregnancy, persons with hepatitis B or C infection or persons with HIV associated kidney disease. In these patients, treatment might be started even if CD4s are above 350.

I hope this helps. BY