Recented Diagnosis w/undeated viral load
Jan 27, 2013
Hello, I tested positve in August 2012. I've been test about every 2 months since then for viral load and CD4 counts. I still haven 't been put on meds yet. My viral load has always been undetected and my CD4 count has been in the high 800's. Is this normal? Every time i get another round of test I'm expecting my viral load to be sky high, but still comes back undetected. How long after someone test positive, should the viral load show on a test? My doctor thinks that I might carry the Delta 32 genetic gene. Is there any where someone should be tested for this gene?
Response from Dr. Holodniy
You may be in the 1% of people who are HIV infected and in this situation. It appears that your own immune system is able to control the virus at this point without the need for medications. We can't completely predict who will remain undetectable for a long time or who will see their viral load go up over time. Many researchers are searching for clues among people like you to determine what the immune system is doing that allows the virus to be kept in check. We all carry a gene that makes a protein receptor which sits on the outside of cells that allows HIV to get into cells (the CCR5 gene). Some people have been found to carry a defective copy or two copies of this gene (delta 32 deletion), which either protects them from getting infected or decreases the ability of the virus to infect cells in those people who have become infected. This test is available from some commercial laboratories.
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