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Fluctuation Viral Level

May 8, 2011


I was diagnosed in October with a CD4 count of less than 100 and a high viral level. In early March I was told that the CD4 count had risen to over 200 and the viral level was 60. A few weeks later I had a viral level test that showed that it was 40. Yesterday I was told that my CD4 count had risen by 20% and the viral level was between 50 and 100. I don't understand why, if the CD4 count is gradually climbing, the viral level wouldn't be constantly falling. If it stays below 100, is that okay?

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Perhaps it may be OK. You don't indicate what the actual CD4 count is currently. Assuming this was acute infection a few months ago (which partially explains the high viral load) and now your immune system appears to be controlling the infection by itself without the need for HIV meds, the viral load may stay low in the short term or over the long term. You will need a few more points on the line to see what your immune system will be capable of doing on its own or whether HIV meds will be required.

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