Jun 3, 2006
hello to all! I have been on treatment since May of 2004 my meds are sustiva truvada and all the OI meds. went undtectable by the third month and have stayed that way but my last labs are confusing. my t cells when I started where 12 and in october they were up to 133. now they went down to 123 and the viral load says less than 400 copies so heres my ?. I notice that in the lab they had been using an ultra sensitive rna/qn. but this tests reads as follows rna, pcr qn and this is what it says under comment . This specimen can only be determined as having less than 400 copies of hiv rna per 1 ml of plasma. The linear response for the amplicor hiv-1 monitor test was found to be between 400 and 750000 hiv rna copies/ml. Is this a different test method or what is this saying to me im I now detectable? plz help. thank you for all you guys do for us. May God bless us all.
Response from Dr. Pierone
There are standard viral load tests that measure accurately down to a level of 400 copies of HIV RNA per ml. So a result of <400 copies is a good thing of course, but does not indicate if the CD4 count is 399 or 2. We generally use an ultrasensitive viral load test that can say if the viral levels are less than 75 copies (or 50 copies in some cases). That said, in most cases when the viral load is under 400 it also turns out to be under 75 as well. Over the longer term the CD4 count should continue to increase, but it will not increase every time. It will go up and down from test to test, but the overall trend will show upwards movement of CD4 counts. So don't be concerned with a drop in the CD4 count as long as the viral load is undetectable. Thanks for posting and best of luck!
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