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Author Topic: Viral Load  (Read 2823 times)

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Offline jumpbris

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Viral Load
« on: March 16, 2012, 06:56:39 PM »
Hi guys,

I have just tested positive. Came as a shock to me because I haven't had unprotected sex in 5 years, so obviously the protection failed to work at some point. My last test was about 1 year ago, and that was negative. I think I could have been infected about 6 months ago... There was no symptoms.
Anyways, so I have had two tests since then to check viral load and CD4 counts. Both times Viral Load = 50, and CD4 counts within normal range. I am not on medication.

I have a couple of questions, which probably will sound stupid...
1. If I end up with an HIV+ partner, who has a high viral load, and we have unprotected sex, and he ejaculates inside of me...will that bring up my viral load? ( I am not on medication)

2. Also if I decide to go on medication which results in an undetectable viral load, and I have unprotected sex with a HIV+ partner, will that affect my viral load?

Thank you so much, guys.

'People should NEVER stop questioning both sides of a hypothesis.' - Albert Einstein

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Viral Load
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2012, 07:36:32 PM »
Hell o, and welcome to the forum! I am sorry you had to find us, but at the same time glad you did.

There are long and short answers to your questions. Here are the short answers:

A) No.

B) No.

Of course, if your partner has another STD it can certainly mess you up. So until you are in a committed, mutually monogamous relationship, getting regular, routine STD panels is highly recommended.

You will.I suspect, shortly be besieged by people who really know their stuff. And, of course, a few who don't :)

This is the BEST place in the internet for state of the art HIV information and support.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline Ann

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Re: Viral Load
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2012, 09:43:29 AM »
Welcome to the forums, Jumpbris.

Has your positive antibody test been confirmed with a positive Western Blot? I ask because sometimes the viral load tests can come back with false positive results, and the results are typically with low numbers like yours. Just a few years ago a VL result of 50 would have been undetectable on the tests used then.

Your numbers are not typical of early infection.

If I were you, I'd make absolutely certain that my antibody results were confirmed with a positive Western Blot test. If the WB test has not been done on you, then you need it done. You cannot be diagnosed with hiv until you also have a positive WB result. Particularly with VL and CD4 numbers like yours.

If you have been confirmed with WB testing, then you just might be a Long Term Non-Progressor (aka LTNP). That is a person who can control the virus on their own, without needing meds.

Let us know about your WB test result (or lack thereof) and we can go from there.

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline jumpbris

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Re: Viral Load
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2012, 02:26:42 AM »
Hi Ann, and everyone.  :)

I am not sure what tests were used on my antibody results. I have had 3 tests done.
1. I was told that I was positive - no Viral Load and CD4 counts.
2. I was told that second test confirmed that I was positive, and they did the VL and CD4 counts. ~50 and normal range respectively.
3. VL and CD4 counts - 50 and normal range respectively.

I am from Australia. So far, I have only been to my local GP, and GP has forwarded all results to an HIV expert for contact tracing, and for further consultation.

I am waiting for them to call me, if they don't I will give them a call tomorrow for an appointment towards the end of week.
I am extremely shocked that I am HIV+, as I am very careful, and haven't had unprotected sex in 5 years, and I know how fragile the virus is. However, I wouldn't say that I am in denial. I would like to think that there has been a mistake somewhere, or at least that I am an LTNP. I am being positive (the irony), as I have my whole life ahead of me.  :)

As soon as I have more information, I will keep you posted.

A few questions.

1. Could I have been infected 5 years ago (when I actually had unsafe sex), and only just sero-converted this year? Is that a possibility?

2. Could I have been infected a while ago (and of course not have known), had a high VL during the acute infection (back then), and then lowered over time? Is it common for VL to lower without medication over time? Would that make me a LTNP still?

3. I was also diagnosed with HSV-2 when I received my HIV diagnosis. I am a scientist, and I know that there is no test that can validate/test for/count the HIV virus itself. The tests that are available to date only test for the virus antibodies. Could they be assuming that the VL antibody is HIV antibody? It could be the HSV antibody, or is the test specific to HIV?

I look forward to some interesting discussions on my questions.


The optimistic chemist.  :)
'People should NEVER stop questioning both sides of a hypothesis.' - Albert Einstein


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