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Viral Load reproduction and numbers

Mar 9, 2001

Dr., I found out in November 2000 that I was Hiv+,my VL at that time was 125,000 and tcells were around 800. Since then my VL went up to >200,000 and my T's have come down to about 650. My doctor started mre on Trizivir as of 2 weeks ago, doing okay with this so far. My question is, how long does it take for the viral load to get to such high numbers, and what do tose numbers mean if anything? I was tested in Aug 99 and was neg then. Thank you for any help/answers you can provide me.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

After acute infection, the viral load can reach in the 100,000s within a few days. In most people it comes down over the next few weeks to some lower number. HOwever, in some folks the viral load can persist at that level for months or years. It doesn't really help you measure how long you have been infected. Someone with a viral load like yours is at great risk of progression of HIV disease. Starting treatment was the appropriate thing to do. MH

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