The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
Ask the Experts About

Choosing Your MedsChoosing Your Meds
Rollover images to visit our other forums!
  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

decreasing viral load without HIV medication
Aug 26, 2005

Hi, I tested positive 7 months ago (I believe I was infected 1 year ago) In my only 4 blood tests my VL has been going down: 1500,600,300,200. Before testing positive I did the PEP 3 times in the las 4 years (because my partner had HIV, I didnt, the condom broke so I stared PEP each time within 24hrs of exposure). Could these 3 PEP I did in the past be related to my VL going down? thank you

Response from Dr. Wohl

I doubt it. A more theoretical question is whether repeated exposure to the virus has partially 'immunized' you against HIV - a difficult thing to demonstrate.

Your viral loads are really not tremendously different. It is great that they are low and that they are trending downward but recall that the viral load test has quite a bit of variability. The test must measure as little as 50 copies of virus all the way to 75,000 copies. So, a change from 600 to 200 is not likely to be different. In fact, if the same sample of blood were run through the machine several times, you could get differences on the order of you recent viral load tests.

It is all good though. Your counts are low and therefore your CD4 cell count should decline at a very slow rate.


Worried about VL results
understanding undetected?

  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary



This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.

Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.

Review our complete terms of use and copyright notice.

Powered by ExpertViewpoint