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Viral Load increase from Undetectable to 101 after many years after 3 1/2 years

Feb 15, 2000

I was originally diagnosed with hiv/AIDS during my fifth month of pregnancy 5 1/2 years ago. At that time my

t-cells were 0 and viralload was over a million. The pregnancy was not a success and it was estimated that I had been infected approximately for 15 years before through heterosexual contact. I was started on combination treatment of protease inhibitors when they became available about 1 1/2 years later and within 2 months my viral load became undetectable with the <400 copy test and my cd4 started to increase. Approximately a year and a half ago my doctor started using the more sensitive <50 copies viralload test and I have achieved undetectable on every test done. the course of these past four years my t-cells have also increased consistently remaining between 1300 and 1400 for the past 1 1/2 years. In late November of 1999 I had an evil flu, fevers of 103 degrees, vomiting and diarrhea for over a week and the illness lasted for 3 to four weeks ending approx. December 10 I than had my viral load and cd4 count done on January 4 coming back with a viral load detection for the first time in about four years of 101 and my cd4 count is 1328. I am going to be retested on February 8 and I am scared out of my mind. I firmly believe that the flu has caused this and I am hoping that it did not cause permanent resistance to my regimen. Could you please tell me what your take on this situation is as a professional is it common/possible for a viral load detection after all this time to be due to an illness like this and the chances of my next test being undetectable. I know that these questions are difficult to answer but your opinion would be greatly appreciated.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

I am a little late on this one. We see these "blips" in viral load not infrequently. In most cases the levels go back to < 50. In some cases it may be the first sign of failure. The next viral load should tell you. Hopefully you will have recovered from the flu and that will not longer be a variable.


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