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not quite undetectable
Jun 1, 2008

Thanks for providing this forum.I have been HIV positive since the very beginning in the early '80s. I have been on my current drug combo for some three years, and my T cell counts have ranged between 500-550, but over these past years, my viral load never is quite at undetectable (and never has been at all, actually). The two years it as been 356, 215, 385, 222, 310, 206 and 194. My doc says its "close enough"... Your thoughts?

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Hmm... On the face of it your doctor is probably correct. Time is on your side. Given the stability of your CD4 counts over the last 3 years and with no increase in viral load, despite being on meds, you are probably OK. However, this is not truly blipping (going from undetectable to low levels of detectable to undetectable viral loads) and therefore the result of assay variability. Thus, the one concern I would have is that this is real, and continued detectable low levels of virus in the presence of HIV treatment could be a set up for your virus developing drug resistance down the road. There are two choices. Do nothing and continue to monitor as you are doing. Or perhaps add another med for a short time to get the viral load truly undetectable.



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