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When to start treatment?

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AC_72:
Yes, 2 months since seroconvertion.  Thank you for the supportive information!!!  Sure, if you could move my posting that would be great.  THANKS MUCH!!! :)

Ann:
Hi AC,

I've moved your post as requested. Hope you find it ok! :D

Hang in there... I'm sure a few others will chime in with their own experiences and opinions. Just remember though, this is something that you and your doctor must ultimately decide together. Consider yourself in a partnership with your doctor, and don't forget that he works for you.

And just a side note, you might find it helpful to print things out or write things down that you want to discuss with your doctor and take extra paper to write on - and don't forget a pen. Also, ask for copies of your labs. It's so easy to forget what you wanted to ask about or what the answers were. Write it all down and you won't have that problem.

Hang in there...

Ann

DCGuy511:
I was diagnosed shortly after seroconversion and had 700-something CD4s and a viral load >200,000.  My doc wanted me to do meds for a year. I went ahead and did them.  I quickly dropped below 50 for VL and CD4s soared.  I then stopped the meds for nearly 2 years with good numbers, but have recently seen problems. 

Some studies show that stopping meds for short periods of time can be dangerous.  Some people seem to do ok with it.  I am currently at 450 CD4s, had my third lab results that show declining CD4s. I'm seriously thinking of going back on the meds.  I worry all the time about it. Maybe I'll stress less on the drugs.

Talk to your doctor about it.  There are pros and cons for both.  Take care.

AC_72:
Thank you for the information - and your experience!  I've been doing more research and talking to a few more people and waiting right now is probably the way for me to go.

On a parallel note, unfortunately a friend of mine just found out he is in the middle of seroconversion.  (Something about 5 of the 10 something-or-others have converted???)  Anyway, the Dr. suggested he do some meds for 1 year...sounding similar to your experience....and he has to make the decision to begin them or not by Monday.  He is feeling like needing more information and would probably benefit from your experience - positives/negatives.

Robert:
There is 2 schools of though about this.  1:  Hit early, Hit Hard.  If you start your meds with a relatively high CD4 count then it becomes possible to take STIs (Structured Treatment Interruption) like DCGUY.  For some people these STI's can last up to 3+ years and allows your body to recover from the physical effects of the meds.  It also helps to allievate the mental effects of HAART.

2:  Wait until your CD4's approach 200-300.  You put off taking the highly toxic HAART for as long as possible without jeopardizing your immune system and developing AIDS.  For some, this can be an extremely long time----years before they ever begin and in so doing lower the risk of ever becoming resistant to a certain regime. 

There are members here who believe fervently in one approach or the other.  There was a great thread on this over in the old Forums.  There is a way to acces it, I just don't know how.

Like Ann said, read the lessons.  That will answer most of your questions. 

Whatver you do, don't do what I did; wait until your T-cells bottom out at 18 and you're sick with PCP.  I don't recommend that.

robt

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