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Still Detectable..... Aaarrgghhh

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You are still detectable but your immune system is very healthy!

Thanks to everyone who has chimed in with advice and encouragment.  I REALLY don't spend too much time focusing on the numbers -- except for the day (or 2) after I receive my results.  According to a "resistance tool" that is available on the John Hopkins Site (it's actually a Stanford based tool), my NRTI mutations are quite problematic -- 41L confers some resistance to a few and 215S, while not a problem in itself, is a transitional mutation and hints at some archived mutations that are trouble (215F or Y).  So, according to the tool (and Dr. Gallant at the Hopkins site), NRTI's are pretty suspect for me -- but I still need to use them.  IN fact, it is his feeling that only when I added the boosted Reyataz in June did I finally get on a "complete" regimen.  At any rate, by the time today ends, I'm sure that I'll be off my numbers obsession until I get my next results on 10/5.

I will say that as my first anniversay of living with this virus approached (Aug24), I have been reflecting on the last year.  It has held challenges that I never thought about, but has NOT been as bad as I expected in the gloom of the diagnosis.  I'm healthy, still working, still playing tennis (and enjoying it more -- winning more too!).  I celebrated 16 yrs with my partner -- who remains negative and has been amazing throughout the whole ordeal -- he really has made this easier on me.  My plan is to live a long time and watch my grandkids grow up.

Thanks again -- so happy to have a place to go where I can vent, read about others feeling the same things as me and receive sage advice from those who have carved the paths for me.

Thanks again!

The difference between a viral load of 650 and 110 is a log drop of about 0.75, the same as a drop from 43,000 to 7,500. 

Given you only added Reyataz etc in June, I would expect you have a very high chance of being undetectable at the next test, or the one thereafter, but give it some time eh? took me 6-8 months to go from a viral load of 600 to undetectable, but I got there and I am still there.

- matt


--- Quote from: bocker3 on August 09, 2006, 10:39:09 PM ---Everyone keeps on telling me not to worry about the numbers, to focus on how I feel (I feel great) and my increased tcells (intererstingly, it is people who are negative or positives with undetectable VLs saying this).  I know what they say is true, but it's hard to move that down from my head to the rest of me.

--- End quote ---


I would say the same and my VL hovers at around 5000 copies. Would I like it to go down? Yes!  But I suppose this is  mostly because I have yet to be on tritherapy.  Having said that my VL went from over a million to 5000 rapidly and has staid there, whilst my cd4 have slowly regained strength in numbers and percentage.

Without highjacking this thread I would like to ask the enlighted ones:

why is undetectability so important?

The reason I am asking is this: HIV does not hide only in the blood and no one ever measures my hiv levels in my lymph, a volume of liquid three times larger than my blood (about 15 l vs 5-6 l). Same goes for hiv in my cerebrospinal fluid.

I realize that it is a good thing to have low levels of virus anywhere, but does undetectability in the blood reflect the situation elsewhere?

Also, save for the reassurance of having undetectable levels, is there proof that in the long term someone with <50 consistently has better chances of survival than someone with low but measurable levels?

In honesty, I am about to change my meds, but it is primarily because of the lipo that started a while ago; I do hope that in the process the VL will get lowered as the CD4 improve - all that with no worse side effects than now... am I asking too much ::) ?


I have been on meds since 1989. I have only been undetectable twice,each time for a month. I have never been sick from HIV. Don't waste time worrying about it.


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