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HIV VIRAL LOAD AND CD4 COUNT
Jun 16, 2010

I've recently been diagnosed with HIV. Upon initial investigation to my unknown illness (seroconversion) blood was taken to reveal HIV-1 RNA copies/mL 46141. Eight days later this number increased to HIV-1 RNA copies/mL 3910402.

Unfortunately, the doctors remained puzzled as my CD4 count started at 540, then increased to 600 during seroconversion as did the killer cells? Furthermore the Western Blot Interpretation isn't progressing fast (extremely slow).

Any info provided would be greatly appreciated

Response from Dr. McGowan

Thanks for your post.

The viral load of 3.9 million is more in keeping with an acute HIV infection (acute retroviral syndrome). There are processing reasons that can make a viral load measurement less than accurate. But there is no doubt that HIV is present.

The Western blot can evolve over several weeks. 8 days is not a long time between tests, usually 2-3 weeks is best between measures and should show an increasing number of "bands" indicating more antibodies developing to different parts of the virus. Some people woul advocate starting treatment during this early phase, although it is controversial if it would lead to long-term benefit. You should discuss it with your doctor.

Best to you, Joe



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