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More on CD4 & VL Counts

Feb 27, 2005

I was determined as an AIDS patient in fall 2002 with a viral load in excess of 100,000 and a CD4 count below 30. After undergoing treatment for the past two years I have turned these counts around, however lately my viral load is starting to creep up again. It hit a low of 70 six months ago, but the last two tests have shown an increase to 240 and most recently 650. My CD4 count continues to climb and most recently was at 270. What is causing this increase in viral load? My doctor says it's not significant, but should I be worried?

Response from Dr. Holodniy

From what you describe, you never achieved a completely "undetectable" viral load (< 50). If a viral load of 70 is as low as you got and you are seeing a trend up now, then resistance to your current medications may be developing. Unfortunately your viral load is still too low for most labs to perform a resistance test. That usually requires a viral load > 1000. Depending on what regimen you are on and what your doctor thinks, it may be possible to change or add a med to more aggressively drive the viral load back down.

Follow-up question regarding drop in CD4s
hiv positive couple

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