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Question from Brazil (High VL)
Jan 19, 2005

I'm HIV+ since 2002, not on treatment. In August/2004 my CD4 was 491 and VL was 12,710. In Jan/2005 CD4 is 476 and VL is 153,000. Why my VL has climbed so much? It was always going down before. Should I start? Thank you for your help.

Response from Dr. Pierone

It is not uncommon for a viral load to spike ten-fold higher for unknown reasons. Sometimes there is a clear reason for a jump in viral load such as an immunization or infection. Other times it just seems to happen. The decision to start therapy is based more on the CD4 count rather than viral load, and your CD4 count is higher than the usual range for starting medications. At this point it seems prudent to recheck the blood tests in several months and see what the trend is. Good luck to you.



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