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How Much Virus Do I Have?
Jun 11, 2002

Hi! I just got my first viral load result last week. The report says --- Result: Amplicor HIV-1 Monitor --- HIV-1 RNA >750,000 copies/ml --- Log equivalence >5.87 log --- How much is my viral load? I started taking medicine about 2 months ago (stavudine, lamivudine, viramune.) My cd4 in fabruary is 47 currently awaiting new cd4 result. In general, I'm feeling much better than 2 months ago and has gained 5 kilos (from 51 to 56 kg). Thank you.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

The HIV RNA copy number or log copy number is what is commonly referred to as your "viral load". The viral load is usually a measure of HIV RNA in the blood plasma. Your actual number is higher (probably > 1 million) than the assay can measure accurately. A true measure of viral burden (the amount of virus in your body) is unknown, but would be several times more than what we can measure in the blood. MH



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