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Can I learn anything from my initial viral load?

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First off, let me say that these forums are awesome!  I only wish the ones on my site were this active.
At any rate, you all seem to be quite awesome people and I guess I don't feel so alone anymore.

Anyway, I still have yet to determine the origin of my HIV or time frame.  I know at this point, the past is the past and life goes on, but I would sure like to have some sort of idea of when I got it.
Based on viral load, is it possible to determine roughly how long you have had it?

I found out October 26th, 2005.  Viral load of 238,000 and CD4 of 410.  Can you really tell by this or do you just deal with it and let it go?  The reason for my testing had nothing to do with symptoms per say or anything like that.  As a matter of fact, I felt great.  There is a bit more to the story but I'd rather see what types of ideas I can get initially from this post.  I'm not really looking to point a finger, I just am trying to figure out how.  I know I know, that's a bad thing to do from what folks say, but I wish I could put the mystery to bed in my mind.


Hi Stang,

Welcome to the forums. :)  A bittersweet welcome, but one that is from the heart.

I don't have an answer for you, perhaps one of the other members will.  I'm sure someone will offer their expertise.

I hope to hear more about you, so stick around and get to know us better, but the best way to do that is to tell us about yourself too.  And thanks for sharing so far...

All the best,

Trish :)

The Canuck:
Hi Stang,

Welcome to the forum ! If you were recently infected your viral load / CD4 will vary a lot for a certain period of time, yet these numbers won't give you for sure about when you were infected.

When I was diagnosed my viral load was at 187,000. and CD4 at 167 but evident in my case ( because of the different problems I had during the year prior to my diagnosis ) it wasn't a recent infection. I was able to remember that about 8-9 years earlier an episode of feeling like having a bad case of flu ( before Christmas at that time ) and in bed for three days. I'm pretty sure I was infected around that time.

However it was impossible to know for certain and just let it go. I can't even be sure of whom infected me and wasn't bothered by the fact I didn't know. It was his fault ( no matter who he was ) as much as mine so I let that one go as well.

I don't have a better answer for ya'..perhaps someone else will.  ???


The Canuck
(Who thinks Stang looks pretty good on his avatar)  :-X

It would be hard to draw any conclusions from your initial viral loads because of the fluctuation that occurs following acute infection. This is why repeated measurements are key. During acute infection the CD4 count is lower and the viral load higher than when it all settles down. The VL is not in the millions, so this is a good thing - but even if it were that doesn't represent the steady-state. What you have is one snap-shot during early infection and you could be anywhere on the curve. Future measurements will help to paint the complete picture and dictate therapy. Your ID professional will be key in making these judgements so ensure you have one you can trust and like.


Welcome to the forums Stang.  You found the right place to get information, love and support!

We are ALL here for you!

Lisa (Who thinks Stang is pretty damn HOT too!   :o  )


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