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HIV Drug ResistanceHIV Drug Resistance
           
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Definition of a Blip
Jul 23, 2002

I started meds 2 1/2 years ago during the accute phase of my infection. It didn't like long for my viral load to become undetectable which was very high at the time. However, on my last test my vl was 59, my tcells (650) (33) have not changed since my last test. Does this sound like the start of a resistance to you? This is the lowest blip that I've heard of. Also, I'ved noticed that the glands in my neck have been hurting lately ( I know you are tired to thesese questions :-))

Response from Dr. Little

Actually, the news with regard to "blips" of less than 200 is really quite good. It does appear that many people who are fully suppressed have intermittent viral load measures of 50-200. There are now several studies to suggest that these low level blips are not a warning sign of early drug resistance or treatment failure and that typically, the next viral load is less than 50 again. So, while I might check your viral load sooner than I would have done if it had been less than 50, I would feel much more comfortable that if you have been taking all of your medication doses and are not missing more doses recently, then this is not necessarily a sign of bad things in your future. I would hope that your next viral load would be less than 50 again.


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