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Test accuracy
Jul 20, 2008

Hello, I've been positive for 3 years now. My vl tests have been very low and consistently been on a slight decline since my first test. Three months ago on my last test, it was at 11,000. When I went back in a week ago for my usual three month check in and got tested again, it had jumped to 72,000. My dr. called and had me go in for a second test. Is this even possible or is it more likely an error? I was wondering not only the accuracy of these tests and the blood samples, but also if it is very possible to jump this much in a three month period. Oh, my cd counts have not changed hardly and have been in the normal range all along. Thanks!

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Yes this much variability is certainly possible. In general, you could see as much as a 3-fold (3 times up or down) variability in the number off HIV treatment just based on assay variability. Other clinical factors such as immunizations, other infections or medical conditions could also increase the viral load as well.



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