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Understanding Your LabsUnderstanding Your Labs
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Aug 10, 2003

i have a question i was diagnosed in feb 2003 my viral load was 39,000 and cd4 was 360 and my doctor started me on combivar and viramune but had to take me off because side effects and started me on trizivir and my cd4 now if 550 and viral load is<400 what exactly does <400 mean what exactly are the numbers now and is trizivir alone a good treatmen plan your response is greatly appreciated thank you.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

A < 400 viral load is a very good thing and demonstrates you have had a very good treatment response. It may be important to have an ultrasensitive viral load test performed, which has a lower limit of < 50 copies/ml. The reason I say that is recent data suggests that trizivir alone may not be an appropriate regimen, because there have been more failures with this regimen alone, then when two class regimens are used (like you were on at the beginning). If your viral load is < 50 now, you might be able to continue with trizivir alone. However, if your viral load is between 50-400, you need to intensify (add something to this regimen) or change it.

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