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HIV-DNA viral load

Mar 16, 2014

Dear doctor, my viral load in the last 14 months is not undetectable, it's always in the 100-200 range. I have changed 6 different therapies and the last 2 resistence tests say that I have a wild-type virus (like in the first test several years ago). My doctor says that this fact can happen sometime, and that it could be new virus released by the reservoirs and not replicating virus. I have been measured HIV-DNA viral load and it is 350. My doctor says it's a really good value and it supports his theory. I don't know this type of exam and its range. Could you help me to understand it please? Thanks!

Response from Dr. Holodniy

In general, I agree with your doctor's assessment. The HIV DNA test measures how many copies of HIV DNA are in circulating blood cells. The test is usually used as a confirmation of HIV diagnosis, but can be used in certain cases like yours, or to look for drug resistant virus, or the type of virus that might be responsive to certain HIV medications. The HIV DNA load is usually expressed as copy number per million cells and can vary from < 10 to thousands of copies. Your level would be considered low.

"Baby Boomer" father diagnosed with hepatitis c

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