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viral load increasing so soon after fantastic baseline results.
Oct 20, 2000

I am a 29yo guy and was diagnosed as HIV indeterminate in March this year, I subsequently fully sero-converted a month later. At the time my t-cell count was increasing to 574 and my viral-load was dropping to below 1000. This was my baseline results when I came back with a fully positive HIV test. Subsequently my doctor was confused my my first viral load test when i was sero-converting as it was 17,000 when it should have been in the several hundred thousands. This resulted in my doctors telling me that my body was coping with the virus & I wouldn't have to look at treatment for at least a Decade. The next test I had in July had my viral load at 9,900 and my t-cells at 503. But to my Horror my latest test 2 weeks ago showed my t-cell count has dropped to 380 and my viral load has increased above 45,300. I just don't understand why the turnaround has happened so fast & so soon after good results. My doctor said that I could have some sort of other infection that is causing this such as my oral health. He has referred me onto a dentist. Could this be correct? i have noticed that my gums aren't too healthy and I have been getting mouth ulcers. I am having another test in a few weeks to determine if a trend is happening and he suggests if this test has advanced further then I will have to consider treatment. He also said that it is possible that if it is due to an infection then once the infection has been healed then my blood results will return to baseline. (ie. t-cells over 500 and viral load below 1000). Is this correct?

Response from Dr. Holodniy

I am not sure I would have come to those conclusions so soon after seroconversion. Usually we wait about 3-6 months after seroconversion to determine what people's viral load "setpoint" is in the absence of treatment. The setpoint is the viral load level where the viral replication is in some equilibrium with CD4 production and destruction. It is not understood why these numbers behave this way. If upon repeat your last numbers are correct, treatment is strongly recommended.

MH



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