May #123 : Early Birds - by Tim Murphy

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Table of Contents
One Tough Pirate

Seeing the Future

Mentors-May 2006

Medicine Men

Custom Care

Early Birds

Simply Irresistible

The Topic of Cancer

Sow Your Oats

Trainer’s Bench-May 2006

Hustle and Flow

Animal Attraction

Purrrfect Health

Women on Top

PEP Rally

POZ Personals Catch of the Month-May 2006

First Aid for Your Medicaid

Shall We Dance?

A Will & Grace-full Exit?

Ratings for a Serial Virus

Squeaky Clean?

Prescription For Change

Bono’s Red Alert

One Hot ASO

Banned Aid

It’s Not You; It’s Me

Near Dead Again

Editor's Letter-May 2006

Mailbox-May 2006

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

email print

May 2006

Early Birds

by Tim Murphy

Starting treatment sooner may control HIV—and side effects

Federal treatment guidelines and many doctors argue that because HIV meds can cause troubling side effects, you shouldn’t consider starting them until your CD4s hit 250. But a massive ten-year HIV study unveiled in February at the big Denver AIDS conference suggests otherwise.

It found that, among 2,222 positive people, those who started meds with 350 or more CD4s and stuck to their regimens had not only higher CD4 counts and lower viral loads than those who started at 200 or lower, but they also had fewer side effects, specifically kidney pro-blems, neuropathy and lipoatrophy (fat loss).

Study leader Kenneth Lichtenstein, MD, of the University of Colorado, says that’s because untreated, HIV reproduces actively, triggering overactivity in the immune system and spurring cell inflammation. That, in turn, promotes higher levels of HIV meds inside cells once treatment begins—causing more intense side effects.

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