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Author Topic: Viral Load.....  (Read 1371 times)

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Offline ALH300

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  • Posts: 70
  • Some days ur the bug other days ur the windshield!
Viral Load.....
« on: August 24, 2007, 02:50:39 PM »
I was just curious if anybody had any thoughts on low viral load numbers, say less than 10,000 with out being on meds. Does this mean you have a "weaker strain" if there is such a thing? Does it mean that your body is able to fight off the virus better. I was just curious.  Thanks a bunch!!!
Poz 7-27-07 
First Labs:
07/13/2007 "Friday the 13th" What was I thinking???
314 CD4 17% 9410 VL
479 CD4 18% 8220 VL
493 CD4 22.5 % 5900 VL
432 CD4 14.4 % 11,830 VL
480 CD4 15.0% 2630 VL
361 CD4 16.4% 12,830 VL
362 CD4 15.5% 2500 VL
Started Atripla 11-17-2008
395 CD4 20.5% undect. VL
426 CD4 20.3% undect. VL
422 CD4 22.2% undect. VL

Offline Miss Philicia

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  • celebrity poster, faker & poser
Re: Viral Load.....
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2007, 03:07:34 PM »
If you are sure of when you seroconverted (reading your sig line) but did not have your first lab work done until seven months later, one could assume that your VL was initially much higher for a few months after infection.  Once your body responds naturally to the viral infection it begins to control it somewhat.  I don't think anyone can ascertain that you possess a weaker strain from what you are describing over this span 7 months.  If we were looking at 7 years of such numbers without meds then you could perhaps say this, and I have a best friend who has done that for that long so it is possible -- though he's NOT a long-term non-progresser.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline vegaslocal39

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Re: Viral Load.....
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2007, 03:26:48 PM »
I seroconverted in the beginning of 1994.  I don't think my viral load has ever been over 10,000.  I went for 10 years without meds, getting occasional blood tests and was always hovering around 5,000.  But one day, my CD4 count started to drop.  It was usually in the upper 400's, but it dropped into the upper 200's.  Doc said it was time to start meds and have been on them ever since.  Now VL is undectable, but CD4's never seem to get out of the 500's...usually in the 400's.

Bottom line is that I don't believe that a VL of less than 10,000 is any guarantee that your immune system is not being destroyed....maybe just not as quickly as others.

Offline LPinUK

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Re: Viral Load.....
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2007, 04:10:44 PM »
I was unfortunate in that I was infected in 2002 and the following year my viral load had skyrocketed to 500,000.

I personally dont think its as much to do with the strain of HIV but ones own ability to control the virus, obviously my immune system didnt put up much of a fight  >:(

Now that I am on meds my VL is consistently undetectable so that is good, although I dont think I would ever be able to even consider a treatment break.
Diagnosed Poz September 2003, Current Regimen Truvada & Sustiva.

Offline aztecan

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  • 32 years positive, 60 years a pain in the butt
Re: Viral Load.....
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2007, 08:12:54 PM »
Good question, ALH.

We didn't have viral load tests until 1995, so I can't really say what my levels were for the preceding decade. But, mine was hovering in the 12,000 range when I had my first viral load in July of that year.

Unfortunately, six months later that number started to escalate and rose up to about 50,000, at which point I started meds.

I really can't say whether a specific strain is easier than others or whether each person's immune system plays the most vital role.

I do know that, generally, those with higher viral loads tend to need meds sooner than those with lower VL numbers, but even that isn't a certainty. I have seen people with viral loads in excess of 100,000 whose CD4s still remain in the 500 to 600s without the benefit of ARV therapy.

How they do that, I don't know.


"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)


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