|VL test accuracy
May 20, 2001
I started HAART in May 2000 with a VL set point of 68,000 copies which gradually decreased to "<20" in the December 2000 test. I just got the results of my March 2001 test which showed a viral load of "20". Is "20" in fact higher than "<20" or could it just be a margin of error, so that I'm basically as "healthy" as back in December 2000? It's my first regimen and I'm 100 adherent so I really don't know what could be causing any VL rise...
| Response from Dr. Holodniy
The assays have some degree of inaccuracy at that low level. In fact the reproducibility below 200 copies can be 3-4 fold. Many people experience what are called "blips", where the viral load will be <20, then 40, then < 20, then 65, etc. Data so far would suggest that almost all of these people remain with a suppressed viral load when this phenomenon is followed over a year. MH
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