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undetectable vs. detected but too low to count

Aug 5, 2012

The last year and a half, my viral load was reported as detected but too low to count (<20). My most recent report says they are unable to detect the virus at all. Has there been a change in how the outcome is worded? Clearly, undetected must be better?

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Yes, and it is confusing to all of us. Undetected is indeed better than detected but too low to count. What it means clinically is still the subject of a lot of research and some controversy as to what one does with detectable levels of viral load.

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