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viral load
Dec 4, 2001

Upon being diagnosed with HIV at 2 and 1/2 years old, our nephew's viral load was 350,000. I've been told that the doctors expected it to be much higher--in the millions. Is this an indicator that possibly he has a "weak" virus, or that maybe his immune system stayed quite strong?? What is a typical vl for a 2 1/2 yr old born with HIV but w/o treatment that whole time? Or could this be an indicator that he maybe was not born with the virus, but got it at another time? His mother was tested during pregnancy- at 4-5 months- and was negative. She just assumes she became infected later in her pregnancy. And WHY, with HIV being so prevalent and destructive, is it not mandatory for all pregnant women to be tested during and right before birth? Couldn't this cut down on the number of babies being born with HIV?? It only seems right that this could and should be done!! Thanks so much for your time and help!

Response from Dr. Sullivan

Your nephews viral load of 350,000 copies is consistent with those seen in children at two to three years of age when infected at birth; this level indicates the need for a treatment regimen with three or four drugs which will drive the viral load to undetectable levels; currently in the US all pregnant women are to be offered HIV testing as part of routine prenatal care; JLS.


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