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intepretation of viral load
Aug 21, 2005

I was diagnosed with hepatitis C and my viral load is 5.5--I am advised that this is high and treatment should be initiated. Please explain what the 5.5 viral load means.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

This could either mean 5.5 million copies/mL of blood or 5.5 logs (about 350,000 copies/ml of blood). Treatment is not based solely on viral load copy number but on a variety of factors, including extent of liver damage (may require liver biopsy) and other things that your doctor should be looking for and telling you about.



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