Till now, my body is resisting quite well without Meds but...

Question

Hi Nelson,

2,5 years ago I got infected from a girl I took home with me. Now 3 complete tests further I now my CD4 count and Viral load. After the last check up My CD4 acount went up with 1 and my viral load went down from 6000 to 2017.

What should i do now, start meds or wait till my viral load start going up seriously? I am tending to stay off Meds because now I am thinking my body can resist. What is your advice

Dank Jules

Answer

Dank

You do not tell me what your CD4 cell count. However, current guidelines suggest the use of HIV medications at any CD4 level.

Treating HIV and achieving undetectable viral load can help you improve immune function and dramatically lower your risk of opportunistic infections, lower your risks of infecting someone, decrease the amount of virus hidden in different organs and compartments, prevent wasting syndrome, decrease inflammation, and several other benefits.

There is no such a thing as "the body being resistant" to HIV. Yes, there is a very tiny portion of the HIV+ community that are elite controllers (very low viral load without treatment for a long time)but they are only 1 in 500 of us according to the NIH. And emerging data shows that they also slowly show signs of higher immune activation and inflammation compared to HIV negative people.

There are 3 once a day single capsule HIV regimens in the present, plus at least 4 other side effect friendly ones that can be taken once a day. For many who take vitamins daily, adding one more pill is not a huge deal. But for others terrified of side effects that are now more rare, the decision to start is not an easy one. The acceptance of having to take HIV medications daily for life is also low in people who "just do not want to be reminded daily they have HIV." Usually these people fair worse, with some waiting until their CD4 cells decrease dramatically or until they end up in an emergency room with PCP or other AIDS related illnesses.

You may want to watch my video. I hope it can help you decide.

Starting Your Journey With HIV

Nelson