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VL and HIV disease progression
Jul 31, 2000

Hi Dr. Holodniy:

I seroconverted last fall ('99) and my current numbers are CD4 >700 and vl 150K, this is down from the first test when the vl was 750K! My doctors think I may not yet have reached my "set point" for the viral load, but they are concerned because the load is still rather high. Neither doctor is rushing me into medication, but both feel that I should consider starting meds in the near future. Is it true that because I have a high vl number, that my chances of progression to AIDS is greater than average? My CD4 number has remained the same, with no noticeable decline.

Also, I have a pretty good idea of when I was exposed to the virus, and remember getting a flu shot that same week. Is there any correlation between the exposure to the HIV and receiving the flu shot? My seroconversion illness followed shortly after and was quite acute.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Your viral load would be considered quite high. In natural history studies and in the absence of treatment, this kind of viral load would be associated with a very high risk of AIDS progression. There is no association to my knowledge between flu vaccination and risk of HIV infection.

MH



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