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wish to know
May 29, 2010

Dear Dr, Wish to know can a person go for direct test of PVL and CD4 count with going for HIV test. Can he just find out if he is hiv by PVL or CD4 test. Also how long does it take for a person to move for medicene if he is freshely infected is it few years. Please advise. will there be a good cure for HIV soon.

Response from Dr. McGowan

Hello Thank you for your question. It is not a good idea or good science to find one's HIV status by either checking the CD4 count or the plasma viral load. The CD4 count can be affected by conditions other than HIV and the plasma viral load can be falsely positive at low levels in the absence of HIV infection. For these reasons, the HIV antibody test is the way to go. In terms of when one starts HIV treatment, this is based on a number of factors including the CD4 count and whether one is symptomatic from the HIV infection. As for a cure, there is active research on preventive and therapeutic vaccines but thus far the cure has been elusive. All the more reason, that people should find out their HIV status by testing and obtaining care to prevent HIV disease progression.

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