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Author Topic: Here are the numbers any suggestions?  (Read 3941 times)

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Offline 27years

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  • What I did for love I will still do it for love
Here are the numbers any suggestions?
« on: March 18, 2008, 02:17:44 PM »
Am not sure if it is the right forum to post this but am sure if it needs to be moved one of the moderators will do it.  These are my numbers and I am thinking of starting meds although my HIV Dr is not keen on them as he kind of think i am stable for now and he also cant figure out if there is a partern to my numbers so he is suggesting i wait until 2 or 3 more tests.  However with what i have read on the net about the benefits of starting meds early personally I was thinking its high time.  Other than a throat infection which i got recently I have no other major health complains.  I do a lot of physical exercise and my diet consist of anything i can get hold of, any ideas, or suggestions on numbers like these.  Even after a year I seem not to understand whats really happening with my numbers, I know at some point I will have to take the meds and am ok with starting them anytime.  Could I be rushing myself or could I be leaving it until late.

Oct 06  vl - 710  cd4 - 310 (Initial Test) no idea when i got the virus but my last neg test was mid 2003)
Apr 07  vl - 670  cd4 - 260
Jul 07   vl - 1370 cd4 - 290
Oct 07  vl - 110  cd4 - 260
Jan 08  vl - 115   cd4 - 305
Apr 08 - next tests

I will appreciate any suggestion or comments.  Thank you
Nobody dies a virgin life screws us all up

Offline Seven

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Re: Here are the numbers any suggestions?
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2008, 04:29:33 PM »
I say better safe then sorry. I would start if I were you. I wish I knew before it was too late. I have AIDS but you dont have to! Well...its all up to you anyways...but i wish I did things differently. Hope ya figure things out.


Offline cayucosguy

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Re: Here are the numbers any suggestions?
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2008, 04:42:45 PM »
Being consitently under 350 cd4's, I would start the meds right away.  Like seven said, if I had known I would have started them before it got too late (I also was diagnosed with AIDS.)

Even though the viral load is very small, in this case it is the cd4's that really matter.

Hope it all works out for you.


Offline Magnus

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Re: Here are the numbers any suggestions?
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2008, 04:42:59 PM »
Hi 27 (same age as me  ;D )

In my very limited opinion + experience (recently tested poz) personally , I would start HAART sooner rather than later.

Recent studies suggest that under 200 is late and people generally do better if they start before the go under 350.

However I think it may be a bit different for women- women can afford to go a bit lower due as they naturally have lower CD4 counts.

Again, I'm only a newbie so you should wait for advice from more experienced members.

Good Luck!

Offline Oceanbeach

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Re: Here are the numbers any suggestions?
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2008, 05:06:07 PM »
I was diagnosed in 1994, offered AZT, which I refused.  I lived in Los Angeles and began attending conferences sponsored by APLA, St. Mary's and other support and care organizations.  The topic which usually caught my attention was, "the Future in HIV Treatment" and two of the speakers, Dr. Sheneberger and Dr. Williamsen have both been my ID doc.  Dr. Sheneberger and his wife moved to Africa, their children are in medical school and they opened a clinic.  Dr. Williamsen passed away, I attended his funeral with our "Living With HIV Support Group."  My current doctor is a referral from Dr. Sheneberger and referred to as the best ID doc in California.  With all these brilliant minds in my medical history, I still remain active in the decisions in the future of my health.

When I went to the ER w/ PCP, the question of when to start meds was no longer mine to make.  My T-cells were below 100 and my VL was 36,000 (a drop in the bucket). I lost my job and my medical records report that I have AIDS and am disabled for life.  My last labs included 536 T-cells and undetectable VL since 1998 but AIDS will always be on the records.

As Dr. Shenebergers' patient at The Care Clinic at St. Mary's, I was given a choice to step lightly and maintain with a "low power" regimine or hit HIV with the big guns.  The meds discussed in those 1994 conferences were readily available and my doc was a key note speaker so I chose, the big guns with 36 pills every day.

Down to 3 pills per day, the probability of reaching old age and taking Trizivir (which has AZT), I get around better but I still have AIDS.  In retrospect, I would have empowered my first doc (don't remember his name) to advise treatment which would have kept my T-cells above 200, if I had known.  We are all different and I hoper you chose whats best for you.  Have the best day

Offline newt

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Re: Here are the numbers any suggestions?
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2008, 06:17:17 PM »
Well, well, well...an interesting case...

Nowt worse than being an interesting case.

You have two options

(1) Wait: perhaps you will see a downward trend in your CD4, which is the important thing here, but perhaps not,and perhaps not for a long time.  I can see why your doc wants  or 2 more sets of numbers, cos, even though these days much better, the meds can tax the system.

(2) Start treatment: this will have the known benefits, ie hammer your small viral load and allow your immune system to get tronger.  But it's kinda a one-way trip for the most part. Will also bring -- possibly -- known downsides, ie side effects from meds, if you get them.

At a mean CD4 of 280 or so you are within the range for starting treatment, and recent studies show -- long-term -- better outcomes for people who start closer to a CD4 count of 350 vs. a CD4 of 200. 

But, your viral load is low (as measured in your boood) and CD4 stable. If this persists, well, maybe it will persist for a while/years.

Your call.

I note: if I were you, and my CD4 dropped on the next test, I would start, but like I said, your call.

(Soz, this prob ain't helpful - both are valid options)

- matt

Now playing: Brighton traffic
« Last Edit: March 18, 2008, 06:43:14 PM by newt »
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline 27years

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  • What I did for love I will still do it for love
Re: Here are the numbers any suggestions?
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2008, 02:27:34 PM »
Thank you all for your suggestions, I will just have one more test in April and if my CD4 is still under 300 then I will have to go on meds,  I have decided to start them than wait until I deteriorate.   
Nobody dies a virgin life screws us all up

Offline germangirl

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Re: Here are the numbers any suggestions?
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2008, 03:20:31 PM »
Good decision. Our doctor says one should start ift the CD4 are below 350 for two or three tests.
Eres el aire que respiro,
Eres el compania de mi soledad,
Eres el luz que me ilumina,
Eres el camino en la oseuidad.
Dedicated to my husband

My husband is positive, I am negative.

Offline 27years

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  • What I did for love I will still do it for love
Re: Here are the numbers any suggestions?
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2008, 01:54:51 PM »
Just an update, I got my April results CD4 350 VL 1 280.  I have agreed with the Dr that i will start the meds once I drop down under 300 am ok with the decision for now.  Thank you all for the support.
Nobody dies a virgin life screws us all up

Offline LordBerners

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Re: Here are the numbers any suggestions?
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2008, 01:34:26 AM »
I would like to suggest that given your situation it might be worth just trying the meds whenever you feel ready.  From what I understand from some people on here they luck out and have few or no side-effects - in this case there isn't a lot of downside to starting other than long-term stress on your liver/kidneys, etc.  But if you start and find that they make you miserable and sick as they do me, you might consider stopping again and waiting till they're absolutely necessary.
Please, just call me Berners.. or Baron.


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