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confuse about test resutls
Aug 8, 2003

dear Mr. Young. i just got back my test results, my cd4 count is 314L and my vital load count i don't really understand it give two sets of number here are the resutls:

copies/ML 150240 H log copies/ML 5.18 H

which one is realy the result of the vital load count? and is my cd4 result low enought to go start medication? and is my vital load count high or low? i'm new to all this i don't understand the result of my test, and my doc didnt' really explain it properly. please help!!

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your question.

Your test results give you two different ways to count the viral load (both actually mean the same thing). The first is the usual way we think of numbers-- 150,000 (the "H" means "high", or abnormal). The second refers to the log10 of the absolute number (a mathematical derivation). What this actually means is that 150,000 is 10 to the 5.18 power.

A CD4 count below 350 is generally when we recommend thinking about starting therapy. This is particuarly true when the viral load is high (generally, above 50,000). So, when I look at your labs (assuming that they are confirmed in this range with other tests), I'd be recommending starting.

Please, for your health benefit, continue to ask questions about your health, and make sure that whenever reasonable that your healthcare providers take the time to explain things.

Either way, stay in touch, and ask plenty of questions here at TheBody, if you need. Good luck. BY


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