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HIV Positive result came back

Dec 9, 2012

What is HIV-1 RNA Copies Value 53500 HIV-1 RNA Log10 4.73 value..the units says LOG 10. What does these mean to me. I was just diagnosed of having HIV and I am only 20. I just don't understand

Response from Dr. Holodniy

A HIV RNA copy number (or also called the HIV viral load) of 53,500/ml would be considered in the moderate level range. The value of 4.73 log10 copies/ml is another mathematical way of expressing the same number as 53,500. Not to get too much in the weeds or make you take a math course, but just to give you some perspective, a number value of 100 is 2 logs, 1000 is 3 logs, 10,000 is 4 logs, and 100,000 is 5 logs in base 10. We express HIV viral load this way (particularly in HIV clinical trials) because it smooths out the result variability of using absolute copy number.

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