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One HIV Victim
Jul 24, 2014

I just tested positive after being sick with primary HIV Infection. At my last clinic visit, my provider started me on medications to keep my "viral set point" low. Are "viral load" and "viral set point" the same thing?

Response from Dr. Young

Hello and thanks for posting.

Sorry to hear of your recent diagnosis.

I agree with starting treatment as early as possible; and yes, viral load and viral set point are synonymous (at least before you start treatment).

To be specific, the viral set point is really the baseline viral load- the level that is usually established by mystical interactions between the virus and your immune system. The lower the set point, in general, the slower the disease progression (at least off treatment).

Either way, earlier treatment is recommended- it is usually associated with the healthiest immune systems, lowest risk of complications and toxicities, and dramatically lower risk of transmission of HIV.

Hope that's helpful, BY



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