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viral load
Jul 29, 2009

I am HIv+ and I have been on HAART since February. My exams results two months later showed a viral load of 43 from 220.000 after HAART.After 3 months, total of 5 months since HAART my viral load is 68. Is that normal ?

Response from Dr. McGowan

THanks for your question.

It is very common to see a fairly rapid initial drop in viral load after starting treatment and than a slower drop over a few weeks till the level is undetectable. This is a reflection of the different types of cells that harbor the virus: activated T cells, resting T cells and macrophages (which are all part of the immune system). Virus from these cells is cleared at different rates, that is why the last bits of virus can trail off before the level is undetectable. The main thing is to keep taking your meds without interruption and follow-up to have your bloods checked to be demonstrate that it is become undetectable. The difference between 43 and 68 is not significant, the test is not accurate to give an exact number when the counts are so low. Do not worry.

Keep up the good work.


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