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Viral Load in Semen

May 30, 2009

As I understand it, a positive person having an undetectable viral load means the amount of the virus is so miniscule that it cannot be counted using modern technology. Furthermore, that a CD4 count of 50 or fewer copies would be categorized as being completely undetectable.

If antiretroviral medications only control multiplication of HIV in the blood, where does this leave the multiplication of HIV in the semen? Based on how viral loads behave in the blood, semen would consistently grow to become incredibly potent with HIV correct? If true, do you need additional medication for HIV in semen?

Thanks so much!

Response from Dr. Holodniy

HIV meds control HIV replication in multiple compartments of the body (including semen) not just in the blood. In the absence of HIV meds, viral load is lower in the semen than blood.

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