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High Viral Load?

Jun 24, 2006

It's believed that I was exposed to HIV this past January 2006 and my first and only set of labs were done in May and the CD4 was somewhere around 400, however the VL was something like 420,000 and the Dr didn't have much of an answer for this other that if I did infact get HIV in Jan 06 then maybe the body is still figuring out what's going on within my body. The Dr went on to say that I should have lab work again this coming Aug 06 since that will be 3 months since the 1st set of labs were ran and the #'s should drop. He went on to say that if they don't drop then we need to discuss the possibility of meds. In your experience when dealing with a patient that was exposed within a 6 month period does a VL of 420,000 sound anywhere near normal? What advice or insight can you provide?

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Your doctor's observation and advice are reasonable. A person's response to HIV is a very individual thing and depends on the viral strain received and the underlying immune system. It is difficult to predict where a person's viral load will end up after acute infection. Your viral load is quite high and another test in 3 months should help determine where your viral load setpoint will be. There is no urgency to start treatment. But if your viral load stays that high treatment should be started sooner rather than later to preserve CD4 cells and immune function.


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