The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
Ask the Experts About

Safe Sex and HIV PreventionSafe Sex and HIV Prevention
Rollover images to visit our other forums!
Recent AnswersAsk a Question
  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

Can Viral Load and CD4 counts be used to decide who got infected first?

Dec 10, 2010

My wife and I recently tested positive to HIV. Her Viral load was 7800, and mine was 3300. Her CD4 count was 350 and mine was 559.We are both asymptomatic and our Dr has recommended "wait" with respect to taking ARVs. Questions: 1. Can Viral Load and CD4 counts be used to decide who got infected first? Just wondering, so I need to know the truth to avoid misunderstandings 2. I understand that viral load <10,000 is not too bad and >100,000 is kind of bad, and CD4 <350 is bad. With this info (if correct), should my wife go on ARV immediately or we wait for the next few tests? 3. What of me? Thank you Dr. I know you are very busy so I will be patient till I get an answer from the experts.

Response from Dr. Frascino


1. Not precisely. In general lower CD4 counts would suggest more long-standing infection. Viral loads are not helpful in this regard.

2. I would suggest you both consider beginning antiretroviral therapy without delay. Current published guidelines recommend beginning treatment when the CD4 count falls below 500. However, many HIV specialists, including yours truly, recommend considering beginning antiretrovirals even with CD4 counts above 500 to prevent damaging immune activation and to preserve immune function.

You can read much more about guidelines and opinions on when to begin antiretroviral therapy in the archives of this forum. Have a look.

Good luck to both of you.

Dr. Bob

One last piece of informaion about the Exposure at Work. Infromation needed for Holiday Donation
Worried All Over Again?

  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

 Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS



This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.

Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.

Review our complete terms of use and copyright notice.

Powered by ExpertViewpoint