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Long-term progressor or not
Mar 25, 2002

Hello Doctor Feinberg, many thanks for your useful, encouraging answer (just tested/bone aches). I was just wondering if one can tell with certainty (if there's such thing as certainty in this viral disease) from now if I'm going to be a long term non progressor or it's just too early to venture into such a statement. I remind you that I was HIV- in June 2001, then I was tested poz 4 weeks ago, cd4's at 621, viral load <400, acute phase over and mononucleosis few months ago in my doc's opinion. Also caught flu in mid-January (is it related?). Cheers.

Response from Dr. Feinberg

By definition, a long-term non-progressor has to have had documented HIV infection with normal CD4 cell counts and undetectable viral loads for a period of years before it is clear that the individual really has non-progressive disease. Your start certainly is promising, but it's too soon to tell. It would also be useful to know that your viral load is undetectable by the bDNA (branched-chain DNA) test as well as by the more commonly used PCR test, because bDNA will pick up detectable viral load for some strains of HIV that PCR will not.

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