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Viral Load Jump
Aug 6, 2004

I found out I was Poz in Feb 04, my initial counts were cd4 of 568 and vl of 31,000. The end of April they were 974 and 29000 respectively. I just got my results back from the first of July and they were 779 and 117,000. Is it normal for the VL to increase so much in just 3 months? Are meds indicated now?

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your question.

You're correct in that your viral load seems to have significantly increased in July-- more that just day-to-day variations. Such large jumps (in such a brief period of time) don't usually represent a change in your prognosis, but are often the result of things that turn on your immune system-- like vaccinations, colds, sinus infections, cold sores (herpes) or the like.

Before drawing any firm conclusions, I'd have your viral load repeated in a few weeks. Even if confirmed, with a high CD4 cell count, I don't think that you need to start on medications immediately (so long as you're asymptomatic), but rather, a high viral load indicates the need to continue to get close periodic lab and clinical monitoring.

Good luck and thanks for reading. BY

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