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

Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
Rollover images to visit our other forums!
  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

Death and Viral Load
Sep 24, 2004

I was wondering what kind of documentation there is out there regarding viral loads when somebody in the western world dies of AIDS (regardless of cd4 counts.) Does anyone ever die with a viral load BELOW 50 copies? If so, why would this happen? If not, does everyone who dies of AIDS have very high viral loads (in the 100,000s)? Are there any studies out there being done on people's viral loads when they die? It would seem to me that it would provide a great deal of information if we had access to such numbers.

Response from Dr. Henry

I have had several patients die with an undetectable viral load. Most often that has been due to a non-AIDS related problem (accident, cancer, heart attack). I have had some patients die of AIDS with an undetectable viral load-always in the setting of a low CD4 count. HIV therapy only shuts down HIV replication. REcovery of the immune system depends both on control of HIV and innate healing properties that vary from person to person (for example, the ability to produce new CD4 T cells diminishes with age) so that some patients are not able to replenish their immune system and remain at risk for AIDS related problems. CD4 recovery is often better if treatment is started before the CD4 count gets extremely low. KH

haart and heart/dry skin
Nevirapine with HCV History

  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary



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