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Is this a blip?

Aug 16, 2002


My partner got his third set of tests today and this is what we received:

Jun 01' CD4 710 VL 36K Nov 01' CD4 649 VL 48K Aug 02' CD4 640 VL 16K

This certainly is a mistake in viral load from what I have researched. The only logical explanation would be that he had been infected relatively recent to when he was discovered positive in May 01'. Yet, he and I had been together quite some time before that and he hadn't slept with anyone else and I am HIV- My questions are should we be retested now to re-check the viral load? Or should we just wait for another 3-6 months due to his high CD4 count and the lack of concern over HIV related illness as a result? Would you say this is a lab error? Thanks

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Viral load measurements can have up to a 3 fold (3 times) variation, even in the same sample. The variability you describe, over the course of one year, is quite reasonable. I would not be concerned about either the CD4 count or viral load from the last blood draw.

please clarify me
Describe CD4

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