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VL 6000 time for treatment?
Jun 24, 2009

Hello Dr, I have been diagnosed HIV pos a week ago, and my VL and Cd4 results came today. My VL is 6000 copies/mm3, and CD4 275, the Consultant said that I should start treatment as soon as possible, I wonder if with such a low VL this is strctly true? Thank you in advance Paco (from Spain)

Response from Dr. McGowan


The decision to start treatment is based more on the CD4 count than the height of the viral load. A CD4 count below 350 is generally considered a time to start treatment. The height of the viral load can help predict how fast things will a higher viral load will cause the CD4 to drop more quickly. Having a lowish CD4 and a relatively low viral load (as in your case) may indicate that, although you have just been diagnosed with HIV, you may have had it for a few years and did not realize, which is very common.

Wishing you well on your treatment,


Relation between CD4 count and Viral load
Dr. wants to switch meds.

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