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Author Topic: When to start meds in middle age?  (Read 2001 times)

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Offline MarkB

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  • Posts: 292
When to start meds in middle age?
« on: February 17, 2008, 06:09:24 PM »
Dear All

On another thread, achim-martin wrote about the vexed question of when to start meds:

I'd start right away.

To wait and see would make me sick before being sick, so to speak...  And each day the virus destroys some of your body, its taking away part of your left life. Besides all those illnesses that may occur, read those threads about prematured aging... This doesn't come from the pills but from the body not being able to cope with life well enough any more, even if being under treatment later. 

Before all of this is too late...rather start now.  My personal thoughts and experiences about this. I  know people who waited and people who acted - and do see the difference now.

I live in the UK where the policy is to wait until your CD4 count falls below 350, at which point I am told they begin to consider medication. I'm sure all of this has been discussed at length elsewhere, and apologies if as a new member I'm raising an old topic, but I'd welcome some advice from the wise heads here.

I'm shortly due to see my new doctor. At 50 years of age (51 in June ...), should I be saying to him that I want to go on meds right now and, as achim-martin says, try to limit the damage the virus is already doing to me, or should I be hanging on in there until the bottom drops out of my immune system?

Kind regards

« Last Edit: February 17, 2008, 06:11:20 PM by aelwyd »

Offline pozguy75

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Re: When to start meds in middle age?
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2008, 06:52:56 PM »

The standard of care here in the United States is also CD4 350 and VL over 50 thousand. This doesn't mean that you don't have a say in the terms of YOUR health care! You are an equal participant and and equal say in the choices that are made in regards to your health care.

Also, studies are showing that earlier treatment seems to be better for the body in the long term. Contrary to that statement, many doctors also think that your body's own immune system is the best defense against HIV.

But I would stress to you to speak with your doctor and talk about treatment options, regardless of where your CD4 count is.

Dx 2005

Offline newt

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Re: When to start meds in middle age?
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2008, 06:58:30 PM »
This may help

Is age an important factor in adults [in starting treatment]?

Which starts:

"Treatment guidelines do not yet comment on this apart from in reference to heart disease.

"Combination therapy may reactivate an important part of your immune system called the thymus. Previously, most doctors thought it stopped working in adolescence.

"The thymus may become active again in people in their 30s who are HIV-positive and using combination therapy. This finding isn't yet fully understood. It may mean that there are advantages to starting treatment when in your 20s or 30s.

"Ageing suppresses our immune systems and reduces our CD4 count. People over 50 have an increased risk of damage caused by HIV. The argument for starting treatment probably gets stronger as you get older."

- matt
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline MarkB

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  • Posts: 292
Re: When to start meds in middle age?
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2008, 06:06:38 AM »
Thank you both for your replies, and to Newt for the link - most helpful. I'm going to have to think hard about this one: it's a big decision.



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