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Viral Load Jump

Jul 25, 2004

I found out I was Poz in Feb 04, my initial counts were cd4 of 568 and vl of 31,000. The end of April they were 974 and 29000 respectively. I just got my results back from the first of July and they were 779 and 117,000. Is it normal for the VL to increase so much in just 3 months? Are meds indicated now?

Response from Dr. Holodniy

That would be considered a significant increase in viral load. However, I would not react to one set of lab results. The current recommendation for starting treatment is to start when the CD4 count < 350 and/or the viral load is > 50,000/ml. There is no urgency to start treatment, given how high your current CD4 count is. I would follow the trend over the next several months to see which way things are going.

frozen blood samples
diurnal variation in blood count

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