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Virol Load

Apr 5, 2015

Dr. Holodnly. I previously asked about when VL decreases, does this mean that a certain number of the VL is dead. I didn't understand your answer of yes and no, because I was not asking about the reason why it decreased, I was asking about if that certain number of Virus is dead or still hiding somewhere in the body. Thank you so much

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Not all viral particles measured in a viral load test are infectious regardless of whether someone is on HIV treatment or not. It is difficult to quantitate the number of infectious viral particles compared to the total number of viral particles precisely. In addition to circulating viral load in the blood and throughout the body, HIV also exists in another form; namely, as integrated HIV provirus DNA in many kinds of cells throughout the body. This form of HIV can remain dormant or can be switched on to start producing virus, some of which is infectious and will then infect other cells and some of which is not infectious and will be removed by the immune system.

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