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Low Detectable Viral Load while on Truvada

Jul 22, 2012


I have been on Atripla since 2008. My viral load has never been consistently undetectable, although is usually 200 or under. My last 3 viral load tests have been in the 400 range. My doctor doesn't have a high level of concern about this, although he indicated we may do a resistance test in the near future. Do you think I am becoming resistant to Atripla? I've read that those who don't have an undetectable viral load have a much higher susceptability to other illnesses like cancer, heart problems, etc. Would this include people like me whose viral load is still low, but detectable? Should I switch meds? My tolerance for Atripla is good so I'm dismayed at the possibility of needing to switch meds after about 4 years on Atripla. Thanks.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

The consistency and the viral load level indicate that failure of the regimen is possible. Although the viral load is still too low to get a resistance test (usually requires a viral load > 500-1000), it is likely time to consider a change in HIV meds. In terms of higher susceptibility to illness, that is usually in those people not on HIV meds. Although you don't indicate what your CD4 count is, in general, these other illnesses affect those with lower CD4 counts.

Does my VL give any indication of the length of time I was infected?
New Diagnosis- Low CD4 and Low VL

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