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Author Topic: Stuck at <48 on PCR test  (Read 740 times)

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Offline MrPOZ

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  • Posts: 10
Stuck at <48 on PCR test
« on: August 11, 2014, 12:15:59 PM »
This might seem like I am nitpicking but I am getting depressed about plateauing at <48 on the PCR test for viral load.  I was diagnosed January 17, 2014 (VL 153K and CD4 200). I went on Stribild February 7, 2014 and it took my viral load to <48 in a couple months. I have had 2 more tests since then and my most recent test on August 6, 2014 was still at <48 (my CD4's are up to 415). Should I be obsessing about this? My ID Dr. says I am "undetectable" by medical standards but I still feel like this disease is coursing through my veins... Any feedback would be helpful. Feel free to slap me around (I'm usually not into S&M but I may deserve it this time).

Diagnosed 1/17/2014 VL 157K CD4 200
Start Stribild 2/7/2014
3/23/14   VL  95 CD4 323
4/28/14   VL<48 CD4 300

Offline Ptrk3

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Re: Stuck at <48 on PCR test
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2014, 12:21:36 PM »
Looks to me that you are doing great.  Your VL is essentially undetectable (your doctor is right) and your CD4's have more than doubled!  Congratulations.  You've likely got things under control before much lasting damage to you immune system.

Offline leatherman

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Re: Stuck at <48 on PCR test
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2014, 12:59:51 PM »
fyi just a few yrs ago 500 was considered undetectable  ;) UD is only less than that now because some tests can record levels down to <40, <20 and even <2

find out from your doctor/lab exactly how accurate their test is. Perhaps <48 is the lowest result for this this. (to be honest, that's plenty and there's really no reason to fret about getting a different test to confirm anything lower) I would bet money that the test itself is why you seem stalled at "<48".

I am "undetectable" by medical standards but I still feel like this disease is coursing through my veins.
actually it is.  :o Undetectable does not mean un-infected. Undetectable doesn't even mean "0" (zero). it just means there was so little HIV in the milliliter (or whatever amt) of blood tested, that the amount of virus is estimated to be "undetectable". HIV hides in reservoirs (in the brain, lymph nodes, gut, etc). Periodically these reservoirs can "spill over" and if you are tested at that time, you could see a "blip" (1000s) in your viral load. Also it's interesting to know that the viral load count from semen usually registers higher that results from a blood test.
leatherman (aka mIkIE)

So we put our hands up like the ceiling canít hold us
"Can't Hold Us" - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

chart from 1992-2015 Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline MrPOZ

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  • Posts: 10
Re: Stuck at <48 on PCR test
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2014, 02:23:37 PM »
The test used by Kaiser (my health provider) has a reading for < 48 that means the virus was detected but they can't accurately measure it below 48. They also have a reading of < 20 that is labeled non detect. Their test can only detect viral loads above 20. My reading of < 48 means it is between 21 and 47 which isn't much but, being the obsessive compulsive I am, has taken on a much larger meaning and importance to me...

Diagnosed 1/17/2014 VL 157K CD4 200
Start Stribild 2/7/2014
3/23/14   VL  95 CD4 323
4/28/14   VL<48 CD4 300

Offline newt

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  • the one and original newt
Re: Stuck at <48 on PCR test
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2014, 08:16:04 PM »
This might seem like I am nitpicking

Yes, indeed

The benchmark is under 50, no-one can tell you eg under 41, 45, 48 is beetter than under 50.

On test that measure to under 20, 200 is realiably (but perhaps unhelpfully) to be counted as "undetectable" (because of the characteristics of the test)

- matt
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"


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