|HIV+ Couple Test
Oct 10, 2007
I just tested HIV+, CD4 260 and VL 108,000. I had my partner tested the next week and he had CD4 of 262 and VL of 806,000. I had been tested before (1 year prior) and tested HIV-. He says the VL he had makes no difference as to how long he has been positive. I am sure I did not infect him. Is the VL any indication of how long you have been positive seeing as our CD4 count were almost the same? I need peace in my mind as this makes no sence. It is not to accuse but honesty does not seem to be available and I need a basic way to handle this to move forward in my own mind.
Response from Dr. Sherer
No, it is not possible to draw inferences about the timing of HIV infection from the level of the viral load.
It is true that the highest viral loads, often in excess of 1 million copies, occur during acute infection in the first 6 weeks (or less), and that after 6 months or so there is an equilibrium or 'set point' at which the viral load remains fairly stable, and that level is more often in the range of 100,000 in untreated patients....but that does not allow any conclusive statements about when a person acquired the virus, as there is great variability in viral load levels between individuals, and in one individual over time.
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