The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
Ask the Experts About

Understanding Your LabsUnderstanding Your Labs
Rollover images to visit our other forums!
Recent AnswersAsk a Question
  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

expected/acceptable viral loads after high baseline

Jun 18, 2000

dear dr. holodniy,

thank you for this wonderful service, by the way! I have been on haart (d4t, 3tc, sustiva) for 7 months, and have been coming down from >500,000 copies, t4=14 (baseline in early December), to 200 copies and t4=250. My physician is now concerned that I am still 'detectable' and wants to add a 4th med to my drug regimen. my last vl was 330, so it is still coming down (granted, at a much slower rate than before). question: is the 6-month cutoff for becoming 'undetectable' applicable in my case? what should be my viral load goals? what would be the disadvantage of sitting tight and just continuing to monitor my levels for a few more months? I feel like I don't want to use up all the resources just yet. are my chances of long term suppression diminished by not getting to less than 50 copies in 6 months considering my high baseline? and actually, why the huge difference in suppression rate between the first months and the last months? I am hoping for a sound second opinion... thanks.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

You are asking all the right questions. You have had a fantastic response, but like your doctor, I am concerned that viral reduction has stalled. Your goal, as with all patients, should be to get to < 50. The 6 month rule is purely arbitrary based on observations made in a couple of big clinical trials. We do know that people who don't make it down to < 50 copies, are at great risk for developing virologic failure, as a result of resistance development from ongoing replication. You might want to give it another month, but if the news is the same, I would go for the additional agent.


Terrible.... Mumtaz where can I take the cd4, cd8, viral tests?
VL up and CD4 down -- what to do?

  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

 Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS



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 nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.

Review our complete terms of use and copyright notice.

Powered by ExpertViewpoint