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my "mutation test" results are back. . .. .question. .. ..

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audioholic:
Ok, i talked with my dr. and my mutation results came back. . . my virus is sensitive to everything so i shouldnt have any problems if i choose to go on meds. . . my first numbers were pretty good and he said i didnt have to go on meds any time soon unless i wanted to. . . . .     t4:418 vl: 29,918 . . . .  any advice? why should i go on meds? why shouldnt i?

milker:
I personally think it's best to have an idea on how well your body is fighting by itself. Your numbers are good and I would wait two other tests to see what's up. I started at 432/57K, second test was 399/27K, so I want to wait the 3rd test. I see no urgency. Other more experienced people will chime in, i'm sure.

Milker.

/edited to add: do you have your % numbers?/

audioholic:
any other advice? comments? anything? id really like some feedback. . . . . definately. . .

pozattitude:
there are different opinions out there.  Some feel you shouldn't start meds until your CD4 count drops bellow the 300's if I am not mistaken.  Others advocate starting right away.
I think what you should look at is the ration and percentage of the viral load.  Your CD4 will go up and down even after meds, so I don't think you should use it as a guide for starting meds.
Personally, I started meds before the virus had a chance to impair any of my natural immune system.  I've been POZ for 10yrs and so far no a single HIV related infection or illness.

Central79:
Hey Poz

In deciding to go on meds you are basically balancing up two factors:

1. PROTECTING YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM: By going on medication, your VL will fall and your CD4 will be able to rebound. The current guidelines in most places recommend starting somewhere between a CD4 of 200-350. Below 200 and you become vulnerable to opportunistic infections. There is no proven evidence that starting above 350 is beneficial, that I am aware of. But some people are beginning to think that "hit hard, hit early" may offer people who do so a better chance of cure down the line - there's a study going on at NIH which is giving that a try now.

2. BEING ON MEDICATION: Obviously taking medication every day for the rest of your life is a big decision. Are you personally ready for it? And although the meds have become a lot kinder, they still have short- and long-term side effects. By delaying treatment until you absolutely have to, you reduce the risks of these side effects, but you're balancing that all the time against (1).

I was diagnosed shortly after seroconversion, and I decided to wait and see what my numbers did. After my acute illness, the trend was up and hasn't peaked yet, 18 months later. To be honest, I'd rather not take drugs until I have to. There are studies going on to better pinpoint when is "best'. Personally I think I'll start around 350-400 until studies show something different - it's not really scientific, but it's where I feel comfortable - 200 plus some spares!

All the best,

Matt.

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