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Author Topic: Start treatment or not?  (Read 1475 times)

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Offline felixthecat1973

  • Member
  • Posts: 3
Start treatment or not?
« on: August 01, 2010, 11:21:00 AM »
Hi Guys & Gals ,

    Just had a question wondering wether or not anyone has any experience with this. Ive have been HIV positive for a few years. Ive only taken AZT way back in the 90s and nothing else. Decided to stop with my Doctors OK about 6 years ago as my immune system was functioning completely normal. Undetectable viral load and good % always about 19 to 20 t-cell count always between 700-800. But in the last few months its all beginning to change. My t-cell count has dropped to 530 , % to 13, and VL to 23000. Its sort of freaking me out. My doctor says no cause for concern but I'm quite worried that if I don't start treatment now it might drop further and further. Question is anyone out there do therapy with 500 or more t-cells? Is it wiser to start now or wait till later? Ive read so much, and in the end am completely confused as to wether I should start treatment or not. Any comments would be appreciated, also I live in Europe where therapy guidelines are different. Thanks

Offline phildinftlaudy

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,965
  • sweet Ann what you think babe...
Re: Start treatment or not?
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2010, 11:25:06 AM »
While the decision to start treatment is an individual one - with consult w/ your doctor - my personal opinion in this case given your history of being positive and that you were on AZT in the past would be to get the resistance testing done (if doc hasn't already done an up-to-date one), see what your treatment (meds) options are and begin treatment.  The side effects of today's meds are minimal and seeing as you have had hiv for a while and are not treatment naive it might be a good idea to get on meds before the levels fall any further. 
September 13, 2008 - diagnosed +
Labs:
Date    CD4    %   VL     Date  CD4  %   VL
10/08  636    35  510   9/09 473  38 2900  12/4/09 Atripla
12/09  540    30    60   
12/10  740    41  <48   
8/11    667    36  <20  
03/12  1,041  42  <20
05/12  1,241  47  <20
08/12   780    37  <20
11/12   549    35  <20
02/12  1,102  42  <20
11/12   549    35  <20

Offline sharkdiver

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,350
Re: Start treatment or not?
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2010, 11:39:55 AM »
I'm a little confused by your two separate posts? One says you stopped taking your combo recently and this one you say you were only on AZT until 6 years ago?   Are you saying your doctor was prescribing you monotherapy? Really? 

Maybe there is more information you'd like to share?

No offense meant, but your story is a little confusing to me.

Sharkdiver

Offline sharkdiver

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,350
Re: Start treatment or not?
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2010, 11:45:55 AM »
oh yeah and your Viral load?  5000 or 23000? which one is it?

Offline felixthecat1973

  • Member
  • Posts: 3
Re: Start treatment or not?
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2010, 11:49:20 AM »
ooops sorry wrongly typed 6, it is in fact 5 years without therapy and it is VL now recent 23000. sorry for the confusion.

Offline Boze

  • Member
  • Posts: 477
Re: Start treatment or not?
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2010, 05:29:21 PM »
ooops sorry wrongly typed 6, it is in fact 5 years without therapy and it is VL now recent 23000. sorry for the confusion.

I don't understand how a doctor can OK stopping HAART (or even monotherapy) because the 'immune system is functioning fine'. The whole reason the immune system is functioning is BECAUSE you take HAART.
==========
Aug08 - Seroconversion
Mar10 - Diagnosis; cd4 690 - VL 19,000
Apr10 - cd4 600
May10 - VL 4,500
Jun10 - started Atripla ; VL 113
Jul 10 - UD vl, CD4 590
Aug 10 - UD, CD4 810, 52%
Nov 10 - UD, CD4 980

Offline aztecan

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,394
  • 29 years positive, 57 years a pain in the butt
Re: Start treatment or not?
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2010, 05:39:09 PM »
I don't understand how a doctor can OK stopping HAART (or even monotherapy) because the 'immune system is functioning fine'. The whole reason the immune system is functioning is BECAUSE you take HAART.

This occurs in some countries where treatment guidelines are different. Sometimes people are only given therapy until they are undetectable then taken off, or at least it has been that way in the past.

Hey Felix,

I agree, I would ask for a resistance test, usually referred to as a GART, if it is available to you. It would help to know what you can or cannot take.

That aside, while your T cells (CD4s) are in the safe zone, your percentage is low. Your viral load isn't horribly high, but, knowing that long-term HIV infection is a beast to the body by itself, I would not be happy were it me.

I would have a heart-to-heart with your doctor regarding this and look at the options available to you . I don't know the status of healthcare where you live, but I would think that having a discussion with your doctor would be standard practice regardless of where you live.

Hope this helps.

HUGS,

Mark
« Last Edit: August 01, 2010, 05:45:21 PM by aztecan »
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

 


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