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Viral load interpretation. CD4 rise

Feb 23, 2014

I was recently diagnosed with hiv+, my CD4 count was 297 and the load was 271,000. I asked my doctor if I can repeat my test and he agreed. I started taking herbal tea, supplement and changed my diet, after 21 days, I had another test and the CD4 count was 354 and the load was 272,000. My doctor said the two results are the same on medical interpretation but for me I didnt believe that. What I believe is that what I am using is working. I asked if we can have the last test to verify the trend before I will start ARV and he agrees again. After 2 months, I had the test and rang the hospital, I was only able to speak to the nurse and the first question she asked is if I am on treatment, I said No. she said my CD4 count is 459 but they didnt do the load. I asked why not but she said you need to discuss with your doctor. I personally believe she is hidden something as maybe they have seen something really weird.

I later saw my doctor and asked him to do the viral load test. i called the clinic two days after and the health adviser told me he can't interpret the result but the figure he can see is 146611. Please is that right. I used to believe that the result will always be in multiple of zeros. I wouldnt be seeing my doctor until another 1 month and i am keen to know what this means.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

There is no real difference in those three HIV viral load results, 271,000, 272,000 and 146,611. There is inherent variability in the viral load test which can vary by as much as three-fold or 3 times up or down. All of those viral loads are quite high, and regardless of CD4 count, HIV treatment is indicated.

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