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VL and transmission
Apr 5, 1999

Dr.H. Could you please tell me if a person with a very low viral load such as 50/copies per ml. is less apt to pass the infection onto an uninfected person. My second question is would the same theory apply when considering a low viral load male having less chance of having a child with a noninfected female ? Thanks. MT

Response from Dr. Holodniy

We believe that low viral loads would result in less transmission. Difficult to prove unless we were to conduct an experiment where people with different viral loads had multiple high risk contacts with uninfected people. Hoepfully that experiment will never be done!! However, plasma viral load is not the only measurement of infectability. Even when people have undetectable viral loads, they will still have cells in blood or semen that contain HIV which is infectious and transmissible. MH



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