Email 521: About ARV's When CD4 Increases

Posted by Pozziepinoy on 2:53 PM

Hi Pozzie, Good day to you.

I have a question. Since Art/Arv is a requirement once your CD4 is below 350 for male, you will be advised to start this medication. Let say after 6 months or after a year or two your CD4 count jumped up to 700-900 CD4, can we stop the ARV since my CD4 is above average? or once you start taking it that is already forever or continous medication despite that you have a good Cd4 count?

Thanks Pozzie

Positeabo :-)


Hi Positeabo.

Thanks for your email.

With regards to your question, despite the current trend now that once you are HIV positive, you will be given ARV's immediately no matter what your CD4 count is, in the Philippines, still the cut off is CD4 count of 350 since the Department of Health is trying to control the amount of ARV;s as they are just grants from the Global Fund. Of course, we can't do anything about it for now as they are FREE.

With regards to your question, once you start with your ARV's, no matter how much your CD4 count increases, you will still be taking your ARV's. This means that once you start with ARV's, you will be on it for life, or until there is already a cure. The reason for this is that if you stop taking your current ARV's, the virus will develop resistance to the cocktail, then if your CD4 drops again, then you won't be able to take the same medicine as before as they won't work anymore.

For now, you have to take the ARV's as a maintenance medicine. The goal is not only to increase your CD4 but to make viral load of HIV reach to undetectable levels.

I hope I was able to answer your concerns. Feel free to email me again if you have other questions.

Stay healthy,

NO PLHIV is alone with his or her struggle with HIV!"


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