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Is Viral Load a reliable barometer for starting antiretrovirals?

Aug 28, 2003

Hi Young,

Thank you for your answer to my question under the same title. you gave me a path and I intend to follow it. However, there was a little hitch with the computer; it seems the system never picks the correct unit for my labs which is ul. my viral loads in june was 3.6k per ul (not ml)and now is 20,000 per ul.... i guess that wud be 36,000 and 200,000 per ml respectively. Does this affect your answer? The latest lab is 4 times the 50,000 per ml average hence my doctors worry.

Please clarify. KIM

Response from Dr. Young

The change in your viral load lab measurements don't qualitatively affect my previous reply-- however, it does make a very strong argument not to use Trizivir as a stand-alone therapy for your virus. (It might be perfectly reasonable to use Trizivir as part of a 4 drug regimen, though).

The statement about watching your health and CD4s also does not change. However, with this higher viral load, the risk of having significant CD4 changes increases, hence the importance of making sure that your continue to get routine follow up.

Good luck. BY

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pill splitting to ease into first regimen?

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