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Vl on STI
May 5, 2001

I've been on an STI since September 2000. At first, my VL went from undectable to 10,000, and then up to 15,000. I just got results back and it has fallen to 3,000. I can't tell you how happy this fall in VL made me feel. This whole time, my t-cells have stayed around 500. I don't really know what to read into the VL numbers. Is this drop to 3,000 significant? Also, I've heard a rumor that people from northern eurpoean discent may have stronger immune systems when it comes to fighting HIV. I'm a USA mix of Russian, Polish, and English (and a touch of German). Is there any truth to this northern European "rumor"? Thanks!!

Response from Dr. Holodniy

That is a five fold reduction (15,000 to 3,000). That would be considered biologically significant and above the variation of the assay. It remains to be seen whether this reduction continues over time. There are mutations/deletions in one of the coreceptors that HIV requires to gain entry into cells that have been found more commonly in northern Europeans. These deletions result in greater difficulty for HIV to infect cells.



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