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Undetectable Viral Load and Not on Meds
Dec 26, 2004

Hello Doctor,

I was diagnosed HIV+ in May 2004. I am in relative good health and have never taken any HIV meds. My doctor and I beleive that I had recently seroconverted becaue of severe flu like symptoms just a couple of weeks before my diagnosis. My first set of labs showed a good CD4 count (600) but high VL (>100,000). My next set of labs showed a slight increase in CD4 (640)and a dramatic drop in VL (2,000 copies). My doctor indicates that given my earlier symptons, inital high viral load and then significant drop and otherwise relative good health, I most likely had just been exposed (and I think I even know exactly when). My most recent labs are even better I think. My CD4 count did drop a little (545), but my doctor assures me that a flucatation like that can be expected. What is most interesting (and exciting) to me is that my viral load results came back as undetectable. As I indicated, I have never taken any HIV meds. Is it common for someone to get to an undetectable level on their own, without HIV meds?? Is it more common for someone who recently seroconverted like myself? Are there many cases with people who stay at undetectable levels for longer period of time (3 years or more)without any meds.

Thank you for the great service you provide. I am sure I speak for many others in saying that your commitment, time, and contributions to this website are very much appreciated.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

It is definitely not the norm to have undetectable viral loads after acute infection. Probably less than 1-5%. This indicates, that at least at this time, your immune system is able to control the virus on its own without meds.



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