The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
Ask the Experts About

Understanding Your LabsUnderstanding Your Labs
Rollover images to visit our other forums!
Recent AnswersAsk a Question
  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

Can sepsis cause viral load spike?

Jan 12, 2014

Hi Dr. Holodniy,

I'm sorry for my bad English :/. If i don't make sense, just let me know. Just recovered from bacterial sepsis - was 7 days in the icu. Now been a week since I left icu. I found out my case most likely happened because of an ignored uti.

I accidentally missed doses of Atripla the first 2 days at the icu, but took meds since then. Prior i have never missed a dose in my 3 years of having hiv. The last time I had labs was 2 months before sepsis infection, and results were cd4: 617, vl: ud. But here's the freaky thing - I just took labs Thursday and results were cd4:600, vl: 53,621! Could this be a lab error, or could the sepsis cause this vl spike? I know cd4's might fall during infection, but I didn't think i would now be detectable.

As a history I have hiv-1 for 3 years, had initial labs of cd: 327, vl: 42,002. Was undetectable the followup after initial and had cd: 406, vl: ud, undetectable since then. So it was quite surprise to see my vl be now so high because its the highest vl I've ever had.

Might you know what's going on? Possible blip? Or do blips go that high? My doctor recommends retesting, he doesn't think resistance is there because of only 2 missed doses, but will check.

Thank you dear sir

Response from Dr. Holodniy

We do know that other ongoing infections can increase viral load, even in the presence of HIV meds, although with meds, the increases are generally lower. That said, with an overwhelming infection like sepsis, the immune system is hyperactivated and could possibly turn on HIV infected cells that are dormant to start producing virus. Things should quiet down after your recovery. I agree with your doctor's plan and assessment.

HIV "positive," but not - Lyme disease
VDRL and TPHA data interpretation

  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

 Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS



This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.

Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.

Review our complete terms of use and copyright notice.

Powered by ExpertViewpoint