Undetectable Viral Load without Meds
Jul 31, 2002
Dear Ben, I understand that even if a patient on HAART has an undetectable viral load, virus may still be trapped in other areas of the body, particularly the lymphatic system. However can a patient not on meds have an undetectable viral load with virus still trapped elsewhere?If so would serology still be positive? i.e. if there is no virus in the blood why would antibodies be produced in the bloodstream? Net net, is it possible for a patient to be -negative/undetectable on all blood based tests but still harbour virus in other parts of body?
Response from Dr. Young
Yes, it is rare to have undetectable viral loads when the virus is present in other body sites, but it can and does happen. In this circumstance, the antibody test is positive.
I am not aware of any situation where there is virus hiding in lymph nodes and the antibody test is negative.
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