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Roller Coaster Loads

Jul 20, 2003

Last fall I had 2 labs done about 4 weeks apart. Both labs returned viral loads around 60,000. My last 2 labs one in April and one in June both returned low numbers around 7,000. Same Dr and same company did the test. Any ideas on how this works. I am not on meds and the only 2 things that have changed since Jan is I take Valtrex and I started weight training and running.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

The variability in viral load is somewhere around 2-3 times (fold). A change from 60,000 to 7,000 in the absence of HIV treatment, would be out of the range of just assay variability. Other things can affect viral load levels like other acute infections, so it may have been that you had an ongoing herpes infection, which has now been controlled by the valtrex, and thus your HIV viral load is now at a stable lower level.

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