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High viral load, should I think about treatment?

Jul 22, 2012

I've recently been diagnosed with HIV, my first CD4 count was 336, but one month later I have just had my CD4 test result as 400, and viral load of 1.3M. My doctor suggests this means that I don't need treatment at the moment, but after reading some things on the internet, I'm worried. I'm due to have the tests repeated next month, what should I do?

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Recently diagnosed does not necessarily mean recently infected. A viral load of over one million can be seen during acute infection, and usually declines after the first 6 months of infection. However, in those infected for a year or longer who continue to have a viral load over a million, are not likely to see that viral load decline and need HIV treatment. I agree that you need a couple of more lab tests to see what the trend is. If your numbers remain as they are, I would suggest starting treatment. If your viral load declines significantly and your CD4 counts increase, you can likely hold of treatment for awhile.

Could pregnancy and termination affect CD4 count?
Cd4 increase after steady decline over 3 years

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