February / March #79 : HAART Start - by John Hatchett

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A Loving Spoonful

Beat the Devil

Drug Bust

Southern Discomfort

The Baby Boon

Say What?

Fund 'n' Games

Hyde and Seek


Bar None

Test and Tell

Bike Drama


Mighty Reels

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Buzz Back From ICAAC

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Publisher's Letter



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The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

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February / March 2002


by John Hatchett

All those mixed messages about when to begin HAART may be unmixing a bit due to new research. An important British study found that you are equally likely to achieve an undetectable viral load whether you start HAART with high or low viral load and CD4 counts. So why not wait -- and delay those nasty side effects for as long as possible? But don't wait too long. Scientists from the University of British Columbia and Johns Hopkins have confirmed that patients who started therapy after their CD4s dropped below 200 saw their health decline faster. Bottom line: Once you begin treatment -- early or not -- you should be able to KO your viral load, at least for a while. But if your CD4s are already down for the count, your immune system may be too battered to get back and fight, even with HAART's added punch.

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