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Author Topic: Viral Load Question  (Read 1013 times)

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Offline pozinathens

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  • Posts: 27
Viral Load Question
« on: December 02, 2009, 03:23:09 PM »
I have done some google searches but cannot seem to find the definitive answer I am looking for to this question. What is considered an "undetectable viral load"? From what I can tell, this means that your PCR test shows < 50 copies/mL.

I have a friend who was diagnosed this year and is not on meds yet and his doctor told him his viral load was 50,136. Is this considered low? Undetectable? Wondering if ,50 meant <50,000.

Any good resources to pass along to him?

My doctor always says my viral load is undetectable but I am unsure of the exact numbers.

Offline ad2san

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  • Posts: 182
Re: Viral Load Question
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2009, 03:32:19 PM »
I think you'll find the info you need under http://www.aidsmeds.com/articles/BloodTest_5030.shtml
Feb   2009 CD4 358 VL 2000 16%
May  2009 CD4 305 VL 3069  14% <---- Started TVD+ATZ/r
Jul  2009 CD4 512 VL <50   18%
Jul 2010 CD4 418 VL <50 24%                     
Switched to Kivexa (Epzicom) + Norvir + Reyataz (due to sleep problem)
Aug 2010 CD4 606 VL <50 25%
Apr 2011 CD4 523 UD 21%
Jul 2011 CD4 494 UD 23%
Switched to Kivexa (Epzicom) + Viramune XR (due to kidney problems)
January 2012 CD4 564 UD 31%
October 2012 CD4 684 UD 29%
January 2013 CD4 594 UD 26%
Switched to Kivexa (Epzicom) + Isentress due to BIG increase GammaGT
Feb 2013 CD4 699 UD 28%
May 2013 CD4 385 UD 28%
July 2013 CD4 CD4 636 UD 25%
Oct 2013 CD4 588 UD 39%

Offline Inchlingblue

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Re: Viral Load Question
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2009, 03:39:05 PM »
The overall rule of thumb for what's considered a high viral load is anything >100,000 copies/mL

Your friend's viral load is not considered "high" per se but it could be called "moderate" and needs to be monitored. Depending on many factors such as length of infection, CD4 count, his or her general health outside of HIV, his or her lifestyle habits, etc., the viral load could go up or down or stay the same for a while, it's hard to say.

Basically a viral load <75 is considered to be undetectable. The tests for measuring viral load are getting more sophisticated so some people these days are getting an actual count of, say 30 whereas other versions of the viral load assay would just come back with <48 or <50 or <75 (all considered to be undetectable). Those thresholds just mean that the particular assay used can only measure down to that number (48, 50, 75) and is not able to measure any lower even if there might be some virus present.

Anything <75 when a person is on meds is, for all intents and purposes, considered "undetectable" because it indicates that there is no active viral replication and whatever virus there is is coming from the reservoirs.

The aidsmeds lesson considers anything <200 to be undetectable but, as they mention, it depends on the specific assay (test) used. If the viral load is being measured by an assay that can go as low as 50 and you are getting a reading of, say, 175, there could be some active replication there.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2009, 04:05:08 PM by Inchlingblue »

Offline David_CA

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Re: Viral Load Question
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2009, 03:46:53 PM »
When I get copies of my labs, I see <48 as 'undetectable', but I think it depends on which test is used.  I know others say <50.  Isn't 200 an older threshold?

(edited to trade a couple of >'s for <'s)
« Last Edit: December 03, 2009, 12:07:35 PM by David_NC »
Black Friday 03-03-2006
03-23-06 CD4 359 @27.4% VL 75,938
06-01-06 CD4 462 @24.3% VL > 100,000
08-15-06 CD4 388 @22.8% VL >  "
10-21-06 CD4 285 @21.9% VL >  "
  Atripla started 12-01-2006
01-08-07 CD4 429 @26.8% VL 1872!
05-08-07 CD4 478 @28.1% VL 740
08-03-07 CD4 509 @31.8% VL 370
11-06-07 CD4 570 @30.0% VL 140
02-21-08 CD4 648 @32.4% VL 600
05-19-08 CD4 695 @33.1% VL < 48 undetectable!
08-21-08 CD4 725 @34.5%
11-11-08 CD4 672 @39.5%
02-11-09 CD4 773 @36.8%
05-11-09 CD4 615 @36.2%
08-19-09 CD4 770 @38.5%
11-19-09 CD4 944 @33.7%
02-17-10 CD4 678 @39.9%  
06-03-10 CD4 768 @34.9%
09-21-10 CD4 685 @40.3%
01-10-11 CD4 908 @36.3%
05-23-11 CD4 846 @36.8% VL 80
02-13-12 CD4 911 @41.4% VL<20
You must be the change you want to see in the world.  Mahatma Gandhi

Offline Inchlingblue

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Re: Viral Load Question
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2009, 03:53:52 PM »
When I get copies of my labs, I see >48 as 'undetectable', but I think it depends on which test is used.  I know others say >50.  Isn't 200 an older threshold?

I think you mean <48 not >48, the little symbols can sometimes get confusing.

Yes, I'm pretty sure the 200 threshold was from when the assays for measuring viral load were less sophisticated. I think aidsmeds still uses that number because in certain parts of the world they may still only have access to the tests that can only measure as low as 200 and not any lower.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2009, 04:59:43 PM by Inchlingblue »

Offline pozinathens

  • Member
  • Posts: 27
Re: Viral Load Question
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2009, 10:20:16 AM »
Thanks all for the information and links. This is exactly what I needed. It truly is appreciated.

Offline David_CA

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  • Posts: 3,232
  • Joined: March 2006
Re: Viral Load Question
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2009, 12:09:16 PM »
I think you mean <48 not >48, the little symbols can sometimes get confusing.

Oops!  I've certainly typed it correctly enough to know better... damned typos!  Thanks for catching it; it's now been corrected.
Black Friday 03-03-2006
03-23-06 CD4 359 @27.4% VL 75,938
06-01-06 CD4 462 @24.3% VL > 100,000
08-15-06 CD4 388 @22.8% VL >  "
10-21-06 CD4 285 @21.9% VL >  "
  Atripla started 12-01-2006
01-08-07 CD4 429 @26.8% VL 1872!
05-08-07 CD4 478 @28.1% VL 740
08-03-07 CD4 509 @31.8% VL 370
11-06-07 CD4 570 @30.0% VL 140
02-21-08 CD4 648 @32.4% VL 600
05-19-08 CD4 695 @33.1% VL < 48 undetectable!
08-21-08 CD4 725 @34.5%
11-11-08 CD4 672 @39.5%
02-11-09 CD4 773 @36.8%
05-11-09 CD4 615 @36.2%
08-19-09 CD4 770 @38.5%
11-19-09 CD4 944 @33.7%
02-17-10 CD4 678 @39.9%  
06-03-10 CD4 768 @34.9%
09-21-10 CD4 685 @40.3%
01-10-11 CD4 908 @36.3%
05-23-11 CD4 846 @36.8% VL 80
02-13-12 CD4 911 @41.4% VL<20
You must be the change you want to see in the world.  Mahatma Gandhi

 


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