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Re-testing After Blip
May 16, 2001

Dear Doc H. First, thanks for all your great work on this forum. Quick history: Started HAART 2.5 yrs ago, vl > 500K, CD4 89/13. Have been < 50 for 2 years now (knocking wood), stable CD4 280/16. Had one blip (vl = 76) a year ago, doc immediately re-tested and it was indeed a blip. Just got back from doc today, second blip, vl at 64 (CD4 still stable at 277/16). Doc chose not to re-test, said she was certain it was just a blip. I hope shes right, and think she probably is right, but isn't re-testing pretty standard? I'm a little concerned. Will go back in 2 months. Isn't automatic re-testing in the case of blips standard? Thanks. Brian

Response from Dr. Holodniy

There are suggested guidelines for what to do in the case of blips (ie repeating the assay). Some docs might choose to not repeat if, 1) its happened before, 2) the CD4 count/percentage has not changed, 3) the magnitude of the blip (like yours which is just above the limit of detection versus a blip of 500) 4) and you are very adherent to your regimen. MH



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