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Author Topic: First VL numbers  (Read 3550 times)

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Offline st67

  • Member
  • Posts: 16
First VL numbers
« on: April 04, 2007, 12:57:16 PM »
I had  PCR test in mid-March, even though my Western Blot was showing negative. The PCR showed VL of 15,100, and a subsequent WB was reactive.

The question is, if the PCR was picking up the first 4-6 weeks after exposure, shouldn't the vl level be much higher, and if so, does that level of 15k mean much for me in the long-run?

I have a follow-up test for cd4 etc. next week, I know that indicator and the trend of tests are a better barometer.

Thanks for all the good info and support I've been reading.
2/07        dumb ass
3/07        dx;                VL 15,100
4/07        CD4 609; 39%;    10,900
5/07        CD4 649; 36%;     2,000
10/07      CD4 722; 38%;        130

Offline Nashvegas

  • Member
  • Posts: 196
Re: First VL numbers
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2007, 01:57:06 PM »
I'm no expert on all this stuff, but I can warn you not to read too much into relatively low viral load numbers at this point.  My initial viral load was 8,000 and my t-cells were at 586.  I suspect that I had been infected about six weeks earlier.  Although my viral load continued to drop to very low levels (for someone who's not on meds), so did my CD4 count.  Fortunately, my t-cells are (knock on wood) starting to bounce back, and I'm hopeful that I want need to go on meds anytime soon.  But a relatively low viral load following seroconversion did not lead to high CD4's for me.   

Everybody really is different in terms of how the virus affects their immune system.  I think my experience is definitely outside the norm of what most people experience.  You may well find that your CD4's are relatively high.  But try not to freak out if they're lower than you expect.  From what I hear, the first year after exposure can be a bit of a roller coaster, and you've got to give it some time before you reach levels that will mean anything significant. 

I'm glad you found this site (though sorry that you had a reason to be here).  It's been a godsend to a lot of us with questions like yours. 

Take care.
8/12/06 - sero-conversion
9/14/06 -- Positive Test results confirmed
9/21/06 -- CD4 - 586; viral load 8,000; 29%
12/25/06 -- CD4 - 373; VL 2,800; 23%
2/10/07 - CD4 - 228; VL 865; 25%
3/15/07 -  CD4 - 365 (no viral load test)
5/1/07 = CD4 - 341; VL 4,358; 27%
8/1/07 - CD4 - 315; VL - 2,300; 25%
9/20/07 - CD4 - 378
11/22/07 - CD4 - 257; VL 7,300;
2/27/08 - CD4 231 (16.5 %), VL 5,960
5/20/08 - CD4 229 (18.3%), VL 11,100
6/17/08 - CD4 166 (14.5%), VL 9,030
7/2/08 - CD4 272 (20%), VL 113  :-)
7/16/08 - CD4 -217 (21.1 %), VL - Undetectable
7/30/08 - CD4 - 220 (20.4%). VL - 92
8/14/08 - CD4 - 280 (22%) VL-undetectable
1/04/09 - CD4 - 250 (28%) VL-UD
5/15/09 - CD4 -393 (28%) VL-UD
8/15/09 - CD4-346, (26%) VL-UD
11/15/09 - CD4-373 (28%)

Offline RapidRod

  • Member
  • Posts: 15,288
Re: First VL numbers
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2007, 11:03:58 AM »
I would not advise going by your PCR test. Your Western Blot says NEGATIVE and more than likely you are negative.

Offline Andy Velez

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 31,917
Re: First VL numbers
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2007, 01:15:42 PM »
A negative western blot is not something to ignore. It is specific and highly sensitive.

Have you discussed this situation with your doctor or other qualified medical person?

A false positive on a PCR is not very unusual.

Before proceeding any further I suggest you get tested again with a standard Elisa & western blot to confirm your HIV status on way or another.

Keep us posted.

« Last Edit: April 10, 2007, 01:17:19 PM by Andy Velez »
Andy Velez

Offline st67

  • Member
  • Posts: 16
Re: First VL numbers
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2007, 03:08:41 PM »
Thanks for the replies. I guess my original post was a little too subtle. "a subsequent WB was reactive"= positive. Yes, I too was thinking and hoping the PCR was a false positive, and unreilable, but I guess not.

The PCR was March 6, the follow-up WB was March 16, which came back positive. The previous WB that was negative was Feb. 23.

I go for my next tests (PCR, CD4, resistance, I assume) next Monday. I understand the idea of each person reacting differently and needing several tests and months to see where things land, I was just curious due to the fact that it seems the more typical pattern is for very high VL right after seroconversion. Thanks again, and it looks like you all are stuck with me.
2/07        dumb ass
3/07        dx;                VL 15,100
4/07        CD4 609; 39%;    10,900
5/07        CD4 649; 36%;     2,000
10/07      CD4 722; 38%;        130

Offline Andy Velez

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 31,917
Re: First VL numbers
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2007, 10:50:22 PM »
OK. That's quite different.

So now the thing is to deal with what is. Let's see how the numbers go over the next few months. You're welcome to bring up anything you want to ask about or otherwise discuss.

Andy Velez


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