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Low-level viremia

Oct 22, 2011

I have been taking Atripla since contracting HIV in 2007. I"m very adherent, i.e., I take meds on time every night. My CD4 results are invariably good - it fluctuates between 600 and 800, percentage in upper 40's. Only problem is that on a fairly regular basis over the past three years or so (at least half the time), my VL has been detectable. E.g., in the 50's or 60's. Then I re-test one or twice and it shows up undetectable. Testing is done through a major medical institution. I would be interested in your thoughts on the recurring low-level viremia.

Thanks very much!

Response from Dr. Young

Hello and thanks for posting.

Your situation isn't that unusual, nor is it of much concern. A low level viral load followed by an undetectable one is, by definition, a so-called blip. There has been quite a lot of research on this subject and blips are not associated with increased risk of resistance or treatment failure.

Indeed, the really low level VL tests that you've had could easily be the result of minor level activation of your healthy immune system- things like colds, sinus infections or herpes flairs could easily be the cause.

I hope that helps, BY

Isentress + Intelence only

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