What does viral load mean on a cellular level?
Sep 28, 1998
I understand that the viral load test measures the amount of virus in the blood. Does this mean that a higher viral load causes the DNA in more cells to be affected at once? Is having a viral load of 8,000 for four years the same as having a viral load of 40,000 for one year? Once the DNA in a cell is changed by the virus will all replications include that change? Thanks for all your help.
Response from Dr. Holodniy
In general that is correct. The higher the plasma viral load, the greater the number of infected cells, and hence viral DNA load in cells. In general the higher the viral load, the more likely uninfected cells will become infected, produce virus, and then die. We do not yet understand all the math relationships, but in general a VL of 40,000 will likely infect and kill more cells in one year than a VL of 8,000 over 4 years. Most cells (lymphocytes) that are HIV infected have shorter lives than uninfected cells. That certainly effects the ultimate function of cells. MH
Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS
- Is Dizziness An Acute Symptom Of AIDS?
- Is Muscle Ache An Ars Symptom?
- Shingles Sign Of HIV Infection
- Itchy Scrotum After Licking Penis Sign Of HIV AIDS
- Pain In Penis After Topping With Condom Does It Mean I Have HIV
- Painful Red Spots After Vaginal Sex Without Condom Does It Mean I Have HIV
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.