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Viral load of 400 (how good?)

May 7, 2005

Hi Mark.

Just a brief history. I was admitted to hospital in October 2004year with pneumonia. I had an HIV test done and the resluts showed that I was HIV+. I went to a government hospital for advice. They did a CD4 count (amongst other blood tests) but not a viral load count in November 2004.

My CD4 count was a very low 51. I was put on medication in December with hardly any side effects for which I am very grateful!! The first follow-up blood tests were done in March 2005 (4 months later). The results were CD4 count of 115 and viral load was just indicated as <400 (nothinh more specific). How good is the indicated of a viral load of <400 (to me it sounds good). But I have nothing to measure it against.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

You have had an excellent response. There are basically two lower thresholds for viral load tests, an undetectable level below 400 copies and an undetectable level below 50-75 copies. Your test results indicates the HIV treatment is working. The more sensitive viral load test (down to 50 copies) if available would be preferable to best understand if you have achieved the best treatment response.

my status

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