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Understanding Your LabsUnderstanding Your Labs
           
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can lab counts change so fast?
Nov 28, 2004

Hi. I tested HIV Positive 2 months ago, think I was infected about 1 year ago. On October 12, I had viral load and CD4 tests done by my family physician. They were CD4 904, Viral Load 8,900. My family doctor sent me to a specialist, and he wanted to take the same tests, this was on October 29. (15 Days later) results were CD4 780, viral load 20,000. I read that labs can vary all the time, but why is there such a difference, especailly in the viral load count, in a 15 day period?

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Although this appears to be a big difference it is not. Different laboratories using different testing methods can account for this difference.



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