How is viral load measured? (unit used)
Jul 19, 2000
I've recently had a friend move in my home who tested positive when the HIV test was first made available in '85. Donate blood from '82 also contained the virus confirmed by the CDC. His viral load and T cell count have both dropped according to his last blood work-up. In an attempt to get a rather quick education I would like to ask how the viral load and T cell counts are measured? He recently went from 650,000 to approx. 250,000. T cell went from 18 to 8. Seems rather drastic for a 1 mo. period. Is this normal?
Response from Dr. Holodniy
Not knowing any of the treatment history it's hard to comment. However, a CD4 cell change from 18 to 8 is not significant. Cells are measured in # cells/mm3, or in percentage of CD4 cells. Likewise at such high viral load levels, a change from 250-650,000 is actually within assay variability. We usually look for changes of greater than 3 fold (3 times) up or down in viral load. Viral load is measured as copies/ml of plasma. MH
Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS
- Groin Pain After Vaginal Sex Without Condom Does It Mean I Have HIV
- Hpv After Sucking Penis Sign Of HIV AIDS
- Swollen Lymph Nodes After Rubbing Penis Worried I Have HIV
- If Both Partners Are Std Free Can You Still Get An Std?
- Does Truvada Makes You Gain Weight?
- Hiv 1 And 2 Test Was Nonreactive At 6 Months
This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.
Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither TheBody.com nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.