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VL over 10 million in primo-infection
Mar 6, 2004

Hi! I've been infected in december 2003 and was tested 14th of january 2004. My VL was over 11 000 000 and my CD4 were at 120. After reading questions and answers on this site, I started really worry, since it is considered very high! Today, I got new partial results and my CD4 are at 310 (don't know the new VL right now). I did'nt take any therapy yet, and most of the symptoms I have from primo-infection are gone. My doctor says that 11 000 000 does not say anything right now, and that I should wait for my body to stabilize before making the numbers say anything. He doesn't recommand treatment right away since he heard that starting early treatment has not as much good effect as the specialists thought before. What do you think? Does the VL mean bad news right now? Or should I wait?

Response from Dr. Pierone

It is true that the viral load may be extremely high during acute HIV infection. As the immune response against the virus kicks in, the viral load often comes down quickly. We don't know whether prompt treatment of HIV is beneficial, although some observational studies suggest that it might be. Longer term follow up on patients treated early have not been so encouraging. See this link for coverage at recent Retrovirus meeting.

You should see at what levels your viral load and CD4 count stabilize at and then make treatment decisions based on general treatment guidelines. Good luck and let us know how things go.

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