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Author Topic: Viral load dropped to 764 after acute infection - happy, but is this normal?  (Read 6800 times)

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Offline boneil

  • Member
  • Posts: 18
I just got the results of my second blood draw and the results are below:

7/5/09      Infected
8/10/09      18,579 VL, 480 CD4, 31%
9/24/09      764 VL, 633 CD4, 33%

I was hoping that my second labs would be better than the first since the first were drawn only 5 weeks after infection but even my doctor was suprised at how low my viral load dropped.  I am very happy with the results and wonder if I can expect this to be the set point or if viral load routinely jumps up after being so low.  I know viral loads can jump around alot but are jumps from <1,000 to >20,000 common - especially early on? ???
07/05/09  Infected
07/25/09  ARS symptoms
08/05/09  ELISA+, WB indeterminate
08/10/09  cd4 480 31% vl 18579
09/24/09  cd4 633 33% vl 764
12/21/09  cd4 611 37% vl 1211
04/05/10  cd4 610 29% vl 2661
07/19/10  cd4 615 30% vl 8875
12/06/10  cd4 686 31% vl 29204
03/28/11  cd4 718 29% vl 32868
06/27/11 waiting
07/01/11 started Truvada/Isentress

Offline Nashvegas

  • Member
  • Posts: 196
I really think each person is different.  I had a relatively low viral load when initially diagnosed (8,000), and it then proceeded to drop for the next couple of blood draws, down to 865.  But the weird thing was that my CD4 count continued to drop pretty quickly as well, in spite of a declining viral load.  Not to suggest that this same thing will happen to you.  But a low viral load does not necessarily mean that your CD4's will stay up.  For your sake, I hope that they do, but don't sweat it if they don't. 

Keep us posted.  ;-)
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 boneil

  • Member
  • Posts: 18
Nash - your numbers are interesting - i hope you keep increasing your CD4 count - it must have been a little frustrating to see low VL but decreasing CD4.

Considering I was prepared to leave the doctor's yesterday with a prescription I'm just going to look at my good numbers as a "bonus round" that could end at any point. 
07/05/09  Infected
07/25/09  ARS symptoms
08/05/09  ELISA+, WB indeterminate
08/10/09  cd4 480 31% vl 18579
09/24/09  cd4 633 33% vl 764
12/21/09  cd4 611 37% vl 1211
04/05/10  cd4 610 29% vl 2661
07/19/10  cd4 615 30% vl 8875
12/06/10  cd4 686 31% vl 29204
03/28/11  cd4 718 29% vl 32868
06/27/11 waiting
07/01/11 started Truvada/Isentress

Offline skeebo1969

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,879

  Since you seem to know when you were initially infected I would say the test done a month later showed the after effects of primary infection.  Once your immune system rebounded (for lack of a better term), things leveled out per say.

  Will this stay this way?  Depends on many factors like: the individual, strain of virus, lifestyle, etc..  You could possibly steadily remain this way for many years or on the otherhand have a crash within a year.  Not trying to scare you, just trying to explain how unpredictable this virus is.

  In any event your second labs are awesome and it is a great reason to celebrate.  With in reason of course! :)
I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline macaque3

  • Member
  • Posts: 14
Hey Nash and Boneil,
I'm interested to hear your continued progress. I was diagnosed in may 09 after infection in April. I had been on Atripla for six weeks, stopped for liver enzyme problems, then on Raltegravir + truvada for 2 weeks, stopped for a rash that turned out to be something else infectious. Not on any meds now, but my VL dropped to ND after only 4-5 weeks on the first med. And even 2 mos off meds nowthe VL is still nondetect. my CD4 bounced around a little, were 525 , 26%, then 513 but 33%, 394 (12%), and most recently 452 (while in hospital). It seems the CD4 varies a lot and they say the % of total matters more or as much. I was a little disappointed that my CD4 didn't rise while the VL dropped on meds, but i'm not going to obsess over it... (which may prove a challenge).
I'm likley to be talked into restarting meds in the next few weeks, so we'll see what happens. I'd like to think that many of us have immune systems that can fight the virus back without meds, but it may  be impossible to tell who that will be beforehand.
good luck to you both...

Offline max123

  • Member
  • Posts: 377
  • Carpe Diem
hi boneil. that's great news! i'm glad to hear that your immune system kicked back following infection. i'm hoping that my second set of numbers also shows improvement in vl decrease. i'm still unaware of exactly when during the preceding year or so i got infected, but as i see it, if my vl shows a drop i'll be a happy camper. i'm due for my next blood draw in about 6 weeks, so it's the waiting game until then. stay well.

1/86 - 6/08 (annually): neg elisa
7/09: pos elisa/pos wb
8/09: cd4 560, cd4% 35, vl 13,050
12/09: cd4 568, cd4% 33, vl 2,690
4/10: cd4 557, cd4% 29.3, vl 6,440
7/10: cd4 562, cd4% 29.6, vl 3,780

Offline lusopt

  • Member
  • Posts: 61
Well i think it almost the same as I. The first time i counted VL, the number was really high. But in a few months it decreased a lot to 2000, and after that my CD4 increased a little as same as VL(5000).

I think that when i did the first blood test i was still in seroconversion, it may have happened the same to you, or it may happen that your body is a good fighter, and that it takes longer for the virus to take contol. There are diferent ways of responding to this virus, to some, it develops faster than others.

To tell you the truth im curious about my next blood result, that will be this thursday, my doctor said that probably i will only need meds in 2 or 3 years, lets see...

Good luck
15/11/06: HIV-
28/10/08: HIV +
- No Meds -
18/11/08: CD4 -650 (.......)  / -17.500 VL
01/03/09: CD4- 540 (19,6%) / - 2090 VL
17/07/09: CD4 -603 (20,1%) / - 5040 VL
27/10/09: CD4 -627 (21,5%) / - 10.896 VL
25/03/10: CD4 -609 (23,9%) / -11.602 VL
12/09/10: CD4 -555 (........) / - 55.500 VL
21/04/11: CD4 -466 (17%)   / - 50.339 VL
01/10/11: CD4 -375 (19%)   / - 73.058 VL

Started, Epzicom and Sustiva
01/02/12: CD4 -298 (23%)   / - undetectable

Offline StacheBC

  • Member
  • Posts: 266
  • Hello
Hi boneil,

Very similar experience. Very first VL I had done on tail end of a really bad sereconversion was around 350!  (See numbers below).
I didn't have to take meds for almost 3 years... and even then just recently I chose to start meds because I felt ready to do so and although VL was still relatively low, my absolute CD4 and % had continue to decline.

No matter what I think it's a good sign for you. But the key is to keep monitoring at what ever interval your doc recommends. VL is important but keep a watch on your CD4... and what trend over the long run it has.

Everyone is different, but it could be years before you need to start to take meds... but don't fear them if and when you do need to start.


Offline guyinwa77

  • Member
  • Posts: 16
Sounds like you might be what we are calling an elite controller - which probably correlates to to LTNP.  Looks great!

Sero: 08.22.09 Dx: 09.18.09
09.18.09: VL 244,000 CD4 425 %14
10.07.09: VL 67,000   CD4 ???  %9
10.08.09: Started Atripla
10.14.09: VL 942 CD4: 479 12%

Offline madbrain

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  • Posts: 1,208
  • No longer an active member
    • My personal site
Sounds like you might be what we are calling an elite controller - which probably correlates to to LTNP.  Looks great!


Elite controllers actually have undetectable VL (<50 copies). The original poster may be a viremic controller (<2000 copies). It's a bit too early to tell. I had very similar numbers to the OP originally (see signature) and I am in the viremic controller category. If the numbers continue to stay in the same range, he should go to the Zephyr foundation web site . http://www.zephyrfoundation.org. That's a forum dedicated to HIV controllers. Many studies are being discussed there.


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