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I'm new at this. What is viral load anyway?

Dec 8, 2000

I have a friend who started treatment three months ago and had a Viral Load of 15,000. One month ago he was tested again and it was 40,000. He was taking Epivir, Zerit & Viracept. What do these numbers mean?

Response from Dr. Holodniy

The viral load is the number of copies of HIV/ml of plasma. Every infected person has their own level, or setpoint, before starting treatment. The viral load should go down acutely after starting treatment. We usually see a viral load of <50/ml, or "undetectable", within about 3-4 months of starting. If after 2 months of treatment the viral load has gone up, then that indicates either pre-existing resistance to the drugs, or the person is not taking the drugs.


wild virus and virus resistance?

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