viral loads results in logs
Feb 4, 1997
Dear Sir: I am a physician in a state prison. We at the facility understand viral load results given in absolute numbers, but no one understands them when given in log numbers. A consultant explained it over the phone, but it is hard to follow. Would you please explain this, or tell me where I can find the explanations. Harry Mamis, M.D.
Response from Dr. Cohen
It's easy to convert absolute numbers into logs when you're dealing with numbers like 1000, 10,000, and 100,000. You just count the zeros and you get the number of logs (3, 4, and 5). Numbers in between are a little harder.
The easiest way to do it is just to get a cheap calculator with a "log" button. On most calculators you then would enter the number expressed in logs, and press "INV" (for inverse) and then "LOG." Thus, for 5.6 logs, you find that 10 to the 5.6 power is 398,107 copies/ml.
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