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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.

DW



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