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Viral Load
Jan 29, 2010

what does a viral load of 5300 mean and how to keep i healthy.How should one keep the cd4 at acceptable level befor starting medication.

Response from Dr. McGowan

Thanks for your question. A viral load is a measure of how much virus is in a drop of blood. The height of the number can help us predict how quickly a person may get sick and how fast their CD4 count may drop. A higher number (more virus) is bad, a lower number (less virus) is good. 5,300 is a relatively low number for a person not on any medications (on medications we would want the viral load to be fully suppressed or "undetectable"). The drop in CD4 is mostly dependent on how well your body can keep up on making new ones to compensate for what is lost from normal immune function + the added loss from HIV. Maintaining good nutrition and getting vaccinated to prevent infections can help. The best way is to start meds and suppress the HIV.

Best, Joe



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