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Understanding Viral Load Results
Aug 29, 2004

i hope you can help, my wife tested HIV+ in May 2003 and her CD4 rsults have gone from 1091 in Aug 2003 to 662 this month. Also this month we tested her Viral Load for the first time which we have received back but which i do not understand. i wonder if you could help: this is what is printed: Method- Bayer HIV -1 RNA 3.0 Assay (bDNA) Reportable Range: 50 HIV RNA: 493 Log10 equivalence 2.69 i would really like to understand so i can help, please answer.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

the viral load is reported two ways. The HIV RNA value is the absolute copy number (493). The log10 equivalence is just that, the same number log transformed to 2.69. For instance the number 10 is 1 log; 100 is 2 log; 1000 is 3 log and so on. Since 493 is between 100 and 1000, it would be between 2 and 3 logs of virus/ml. We tend to use these expressions interchangably when reporting viral load results.



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