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Feb 14, 2010

Dear Dr. Holodniy,

I got copies of all my labwork since diagnosis. I came across a few things I don't understand.

On one report it says:

HIV RNA: Result: Detected *(1) Reference: Not Detected HIV QT PCR: 27,700 LOG10 Result: 4.44

I understand the viral load of 27,700. It is the HIV RNA result. The (1) next to HIV RNA is explained saying "A result of "Not Detected" indicates that the viral load was below the limit of detection of 48 copies/ml for this assay and should not be interpreted as a total lack of HIV-1 RNA."

I'm confused by what I take to mean HIV RNA viral load was undetectable when I have a vl of 27,700. Is there a different type of viral load I haven't learned about?

Thanks for your help.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

No, your viral load is 27,700, which is also indicated by "detected" and the log copy number. The "reference" in this case makes it confusing to interpret. In almost all cases with lab results there is a normal range or reference level stated with the actual results. So the reference in this case is a "not detected" viral load.

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