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Very odd Viral Load

Dec 21, 2008

My partner has been HIV positive for 11 years and has never been on medication. His latest CD4 count is 430 (down from 465 2 years ago). However his viral load is 8.8 - we don't really undertand this figure but it seems to be extraordinarily high.

Can you cast any light?

Response from Dr. Holodniy

There is really no significant difference between those two CD4 counts. The only way I can interpret that viral load is that it is being expressed in log10 units. So 8 log10/mL would be 100 million copies, 9 log10/ml would be one billion copies/mL. That is extraordinarily high and most viral load assays don't actually quantitate to that level. You should clarify what units the viral load is being expressed in.

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