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Is
Nov 1, 2002

Hi Drs. Thanks for looking at my post. I just want to know more info on this term "undetectable". DOes this mean TOTAL supression of the virus? I know that the lowest the viral tests can go is <50 copies or something? So assuming that, there are still viral copies being made then, which is not a good thing then. I'm all confused.

Is there any tests in the future that will detect 0 copies or is that out of the question?

Response from Dr. Wohl

Hi-

It IS confusing. Undetectable on a viral load test in an HIV-infected individual means that the level of virus present was below the level of this test to measure virus.

It is sort of like a needle in a haystack. Put a million needles in the stack and you will find plenty if you go (foolishly) poking around in there. But put only 50 needles in that haystack and you could be searching on hands and knees all day and not get poked.

Same thing with the tests for viral load. The virus is there but there just is very little of it around. Tests are being developed that can detect even smaller amounts of virus and some of these are used for research purposes. Thanks DW



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