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Author Topic: VL <40 but detectable?  (Read 1478 times)

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Offline Condesa66

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  • Posts: 7
VL <40 but detectable?
« on: June 11, 2014, 01:29:44 AM »
I just got my 3rd lab results back today (4 month intervals).  My CD4 has gone from 390 (12%), to 502 (18%), to 593 (24%) in 10 months.

VL has gone from 1.7 million to 63, now to <40, however the results say "detectable".  I thought anything less than 40 was considered undetectable.  Anyone know the difference?  I was really hoping to be UD with 10 months of starting treatment (Atripla).  I won't see my Dr. for a couple of weeks.

Any thoughts?  Thank you.

Offline life2

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Re: VL <40 but detectable?
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2014, 01:47:44 AM »
Hi Condesa,

This is really a play on semantics or terminology here.  You are what is frequently called 'UD'.  UD or the way the word undetectable is referred to in hiv simply means that the amount of virus in your blood is too low to get an accurate count. It is still detected though.  The particular test performed on you can only provide an accurate count at ~40 copies/ml and above.  Many of us take tests that can accurately measure as low as 20 copies/ml.  Over time the sensitivity of these tests has improved significantly.

Viral loads are usually reported as copies of HIV in one milliliter of blood. The tests count up to about 1 million copies, and are always being improved to be more sensitive. The first bDNA test measured down to 10,000 copies. The second generation could detect as few as 500 copies. Now there are ultra sensitive tests for research that can detect less than 5 copies.

Congrats on achieving 'UD' ;)

Be well.

Offline eric48

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Re: VL <40 but detectable?
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2014, 09:13:58 AM »
You are UD  in the most generally accepted sense

You have CD4 > 500

Your Nadir is (was) 390 which is high enough to say that you have never been in the lower end of the scale

The Virus is paradoxal. Some people like yourself have highly productive virus but the immune system is restive at ca. 400 (and goes not give a shit...) and some people have moderate VL with only a hand full of CD4 left.

Except for the negligeable inconvinience of a daily pill, life goes on.

NVP/ABC/3TC/... UD ; CD4 > 900; CD4/CD8 ~ 1.5   stock : 6 months (2013: FOTO= 5d. ON 2d. OFF ; 2014: Clin. Trial NCT02157311 = 4days ON, 3days OFF ; 2015: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02157311 ; 2016: use of granted patent US9101633, 3 days ON, 4days OFF; 2017: added TDF, so NVP/TDF/ABC/3TC, once weekly

Offline DodgerDawg

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  • "Dude, It Could Be Worse"
Re: VL <40 but detectable?
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2014, 09:36:35 PM »
Hi, Although I'm certainly no expert, here is how it was put to me last week regarding this very issue by my infectious disease team at Kaiser hospital; most essays can only measure down to 50 copies, (although Kaiser can measure down to 10) anything under <50 is considered (by Kaiser) to be UD. Yikes! I hope this made sense.

Take care,  Kevin
January 2014 CD4 = 5      .03%  VL = 1,800,000
June      2014 CD4 = 206  .15%  VL =            48
January 2015 CD4  = 211  .13%  VL =            71
June      2015 CD4 = 155  .12%  VL =             UD
July       2015 CD4 = 148  .11%  VL =             48


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