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Just tested positive - Really high Viral Load

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I just tested positive after experiencing affects of an acute infection.  I was likely infected 3-4 months ago.  My CD4 is at 400, and my Viral Load is a whopping 1.7 million.  I was surprised by my CD4, but totally shocked by my VL.  I understand the basics of what VL is, and that anything over 100,000 is high, but what I don't understand is the significance of such an incredibly SUPER high VL and if I should starts meds right away.  I am perfectly healthy and have been healthy other than the "flu-like" symptoms I had about 3 months ago from acute infection.

Should I be worried about a 1.7 million VL and what can be or should be done about?  Am I at risk for OIs or other health concerns? 

Ay feedback or similar experiences would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you. 

Hello! Welcome to the forums!

It is not at all unusual for a recently seroconverted person to have a staggering viral load. That usually goes WAY down after the first few months, and the cd4 count tends to rebound as well.

f course, over time that changes, as HIV continually mutates and beats down the immune system. But that's what the meds are for.

What you are experiencing is totally normal for someone who just finished seroconverting, for what it's worth.

Some people decide to start meds after diagnosis, and there are compelling arguments for preserving the innate immune system. But there are also arguments for waiting, especially regarding access to meds and insurance and stuff.


--- Quote from: Condesa66 on August 25, 2013, 08:52:32 PM ---Should I be worried about a 1.7 million VL and what can be or should be done about?  Am I at risk for OIs or other health concerns? 

--- End quote ---

For what it's worth, I've known other people with such high VLs who seemed to turn out fine. Look at it this way: once you're undetectable, you'll be able to look back at your accomplishment with all kinds of pride. I got mine down from a mere 130,000+, but you'll be a superstar. ;)

Your doctor will be your best guide, but yes, it's probably a good idea to get that down a bit. As others said, it should go down considerably on its own, though depending on where you are and what your doctor thinks, you might consider starting meds anyway. The fewer virus particles mucking around inside you, the better off you'll be ultimately, IMHO.

Good luck. You seem to have a very stable attitude about the whole thing, and that's a real asset when dealing with this irritating virus.

How many times have they looked at your viral load since diagnosis? 

This is the first viral load count, and it comes 3-4 months after seroconversion?

Have you seen an infectious disease doctor and been given some input what this means???

High viral loads are not the sign of impending doom.  What will happen is that your doctor will make a call, and I am guessing pretty soon, as to whether this is likely to go down.

I had high viral loads, from one to a couple million, for a few months after infection.  So, they watched it pretty closely and at about the 4 month mark, the trend was going up, not down, and I went on treatment.

I would say 3-4 months AFTER the infection, your load could be considered high, and you should be getting viral loads test very regularly.  But, I'm not a doctor.

I am sure you'll be fine. i was told its completely normal to have such high viral load. My VL was higher than ours but I was infected only few weeks at the time and CD just over 300 I started meds straightaway and after two months my VL was just over 70!


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