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viral load in compartments

Apr 16, 2006

They say that the HIV viral load in blood is just a fraction of the HIV in the body. This I understand. What I do not understand is whether it is known if there is correspondence between serum viral load and viral load in other tissue/compaartments? (ie., If I am undetectable in serum from labs, would some scientific test on other tissue be close to undetectable, or could vl there be way up there?) Does tx pervade the body so that serum is indicator of what is going on everywhere, or are there certain "compartments" that have been found to always have high vl?

Response from Dr. Holodniy

If you are undetectable in the plasma, then chances are you will be close to undetectable (in terms of active replication) in other compartments. That does not mean that there is not virus in the lymph nodes or brain or other places. It means that much of the virus is dormant or latent but can be coaxed to replicate given the right conditions.

low cd4 high vl
which is more effective?

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