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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.



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