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When to start treatment?

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AC_72:
Hi....I'm new here (2 months since conversion).  I've been reading about when to start drug therapy and wondered if anyone other than DHHS and clinical providers has info they might share?  My initial thought is to start now.

Thank you!

Ann:
Hi AC, welcome to the forums. Be sure to read the Welcome Thread at the top of the  Living With HIV Forum for links to other sections of this website.

There is a section in the Lessons on starting meds... Check out the links on the right hand side of the main Lessons page.

It's difficult to discuss your particulars when we don't know what your numbers are or if you've had more than one test result. Normally, several results are needed over a period of months so a trend can be seen.

If you are newly infected as well as newly diagnosed, you might be able to go for years without the meds. I've been positive for nine years now and still don't need them. The meds are a big committment and not something you want to take without lots of thought - unless of course your numbers are really bad.

Let us know what your numbers are so everyone has something more to base their replies on.

And hang in there, the first few months are a rollercoaster ride. It DOES get better!

Ann

AC_72:
Two rounds of tests:
CD4 = 332   Viral >500,000
CDR = 338   Viral >500,000
...next round in 30 days per my Dr.

My main concern is VERY SWOLLEN glands in my neck...at times tender to the touch, tired and susceptible to sore throat/strep.  (UGH!  I feel like such a mess!!!)

AC_72:
....PS...I read the Lessons.  All VERY good information....makes me lean toward taking over waiting...if nothing more than to get rid of the swelling and stop the disappointing test results.   ...?

Ann:
Hi AC,

I just re-read your first post and I see you say it's two months since conversion... can I take that to mean you are only recently seroconverted? I seem to remember reading something about starting the meds early really only has any benefit if they are started during or very shortly after seroconversion. You will have to discuss whether starting now is a good idea or not with your doctor.

Your high viral load and medium CD4 would support the idea that you have a new infection. They are perfectly normal numbers at this stage of the game and they will likely improve very soon. It's very common to have such a high viral load for the first few months - don't let it frighten you. 

Just a word about your swollen glands... if you keep touching them to check on them, chances are very good that this is the reason why they are remaining sore and swollen. They will react to constant touching - they don't like to be poked and rubbed all the time. Try to leave them alone - it can take as long as a week or so for them to come back to normal after being irritated.

You don't seem to be getting many replies here and you would probably get more if I moved your post to the Living Forum. Let me know if you want your thread moved. (I have magical powers LOL) ;)

Ann

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