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A need to check VL
Jan 23, 2014

Hi Dr the last time I checked my CD4 was 3 months back and it was 424, so is there a need for me to check for a VL and why? where do I go to check it. thanks innoc

Response from Dr. Young

Hello and thanks for posting.

The answer to your question depends on where you live and whether you're currently on HIV treatments.

If you are on HIV medications, VL should be tested periodically after starting- here in the US, we typically test VL after 1, 3 and 6 months of treatment- and every 3-4 months thereafter. If the patient is clinically and immunologically stable (meaning CD4 above 350) for a while (defined by guidelines as 2 years) and without change in ART, it's probably safe to decrease the monitoring frequency to every 6, and possibly 12 months.

In resource-limited places, viral load testing is frequently not available, though current World Health Organization guidelines are now urging the expansion of VL testing devices.

I'd ask your care provider about when getting a viral load is most appropriate for you.

Be well, BY



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