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VL for HIV 2 and
Dec 29, 2000

Dr. Holodniy,

in one of your recent replies you said the PCR RNA viral load test can't measure levels of HIV 2 or HIV 1 subtype "O"? For those of us who are infected with either of those, what is the best way to determine when to start medication/treatment (I was infected in mid-March 2000 in Thailand)? My CD4 is 953, but a comparison of CBCs (one in July 2000 and the other in December 2000) show that my RBCs have decreased from 6.2 to 4.03, hematocrit from 45 to 39, platelets from 200 to 190 and WBCs have increased from 6.9 to 7.2. My physician tells me that the CD4 count doesn't indicate starting treatment. However, I'm feeling pretty ill and wonder if the viral load could be high and causing my problems. Any advice?

Response from Dr. Holodniy

How do you know you are infected with HIV-2, or HIV-1 subtype O? Were specific tests done to indicate the infection? Did your doctor order a HIV-1 viral load test, and it was undetectable, despite some antibody test confirming infection? The usual HIV-1 strain found in Thailand should be detectable by conventional HIV-1 viral load tests.

MH



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