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Untreated and low viral load

Feb 24, 2008


Firstly, thanks for all the information you provide on this site. It is thankfully a wealth of information when trying to come to grips with being newly HIV +.

I'm 34 and have been HIV +ve since March 2007. Seroconversion around 2-3 weeks after exposure with throat ulcer and swollen lymph nodes and flu like symptoms.

Have been tested for resitance and only one of note so I have been told is K103N.

I am untreated at this stage with the following periodic blood results:

April 2007 (5 weeks post exposure) CD4 396 (18%), cd4/cd8 0.3, VL 299000

May 2007 CD4 487 (29%), CD4/CD8 0.7, VL 151000

June 2007 CD4 506 (33%), CD4/CD8 0.9, VL 64000

August 2007 CD4 404 (33%), CD4/CD8 1.2, VL 16700

November 2007 CD4 505 (29%), CD4/CD8 1.1, VL 6600

February 2008 CD4 535 (29%), CD4/CD8 1.1, VL 4500

My questions given the above results and the readings on your website are:

1. Would you categorise my results as normal or is my body doing an above average job of dealing with the virus?

2. Given the constant decline in VL and steady CD4 can I expect to stay untreated for considerable time or is it possible for the virus to raise its head at any point?

If it will raise its ugly head, do you have any empirical data to suggest how long before that would be?

Thanks again for all the great work you all do with this site. It truly helps to keep me sane.


Response from Dr. Holodniy

1. I think your body is doing an above average job of controlling the infection on its own. Your numbers are what we would expect after acute infection, where we see the CD4 count come back up and the viral load go down to some level (commonly referred to as the viral set point, which is different for each person).

2. Can't say for certain whether and how long you will stay with these lab results. I think in the near term, starting treatment is unlikely. If the viral load stays detectable at the current level, it may be some time before treatment is required (in some people years). It was important that a resistance test was obtained early on in the course of infection. That mutation is a key mutation for one class of HIV drugs, and so it is important that your doctors know that up front, if and when treatment is required.

cd4 - AGAIN
cd 4 and cd 8 levels

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