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VIral Load and CD4
Jan 25, 2003

Dear Doc, I was tested in April 2002 and negative. In December 2002, I had an episode of acute flu-like symptoms, with fever and mouth sores. I asked my physician to re-test me and my test came back positive. Two weeks later, my CD4 count was 320 and my Viral load was 198. Can this be indicative of an acute primary HIV-infection? Is it common to have these lab numbers (low viral load and low CD4) considering I just tested positive? Thank you!

Response from Dr. Holodniy

It would be unusual so soon after seroconversion. I might expect your CD4 count to be higher in the face of such a low viral load. The other possibility is that the viral load level is falsely low because the particular type of viral load assay (ie like a version 1.0 Roche PCR test) is not picking up the type of viral strain you have correctly.



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