Questionable?!?! Help!?

Hey everyone,

Was looking for some advice, support, similar experiences....

I was diagnosed as + in November 2015, didn't start my medication until January 2016 which is Triumeq! Before beginning my medication I had a viral load done which was 551,000 (if that makes sense to anyone)... When beginning my tablets my consultant told me there would be a high chance I could be sick with the medication... Which I haven't been!!! Basically one month later which was Febuary, I was Fully SUPRESSED! With a viral load below 70! (My consultant had told me it could take anything from 6 months to a year to become SUPRESSED)...

1. I was never sick during my first month medication (which is good but not what i was told)

2. If my viral load was so high how on Earth have I become SUPRESSED so fast just after 28 tablets???

Does anyone or has anyone heard of anything similar to this? I shouldn't say this but I am beginning to doubt my illness/infection entirely and its diagnosis? Could it be something else? Does hiv tests confirm HIV 100% or is it a trend in the bloods that indicate it?

Hopefully someone has had or heard a similar experience, my buzz of being delighted is over killed by doubt right now and I can't help it!

Thanks in advance for reading and replying x

8 Replies

  • I'm afraid the diagnosis is definitive, the viral load indicated how many HIV cells are present in each millilitre of blood, its accuracy is flexible to a factor of 3 - your actual vl could be 3 times smaller or larger but that's not really important as it's just a snap shot.

    Am so pleased for you that your meds are working so well. Just make sure you keep taking them and I'm sure you'll be fine.

    The reason that we react so differently is because our individual immune systems are as different on the insides of our bodies as our faces are on the outside.

    Ps I'm not a doctor just a fellow positive guy!

    Take care.

  • Hi jenetti

    I think Chris is correct. Your diagnoses is correct. Your lucky your viral load has come down so quickly and your Meds are working for you.

    Good luck

  • Hi there,

    Like said before, the qPCR test that gives you a viral load is the definitive test for diagnosis. I will never be positive unless HIV is present.

    The reason he said you could be sick is because it is common (but not always) seen in people with higher viral loads like you had.

    Also they try to give you a reasonable expectation that it can take as long as a year in some cases but it can also happen quickly some cases too- and looks like that's happened for you, which is good news!

    Sorry for the false hope, I'm also recently diagnosed and still had delusions of false positive up until I got the viral load back, so I feel ya there

  • With the newer meds, side effects are minimal compared to even 10 yrs ago. I've been on many different regimens over the last nearly 30 yrs of having HIV.

    I now take Evotaz and Truvada once a day. Been taking this particular cocktail almost 2 yrs with no noticeable side effects. So, your med regimen is working like it should. It's now very common to have such quick rebounds in lab numbers. You're doing great, don't question great numbers. HIV tests are accurate 99.97% of the time.

    I hope my information gives you some peace of mind.

  • I'm pretty confused too. I was diagnosed as hiv+ last June. But for 6 months from then (including the first blood tests) my viral load was undetectable (<50). The highest result was 560. So I'm still no on medications, just want to see what are the next results. Not sure if I'm behaving good... Just I've always been and feeling healthy now, cd4 level is pretty good 400-500... So do not want to start the treatment, as it is for the rest of the life...

  • The current medical recommendations indicate that treatment should get started as soon as possible. The idea is treatment as prevention.

    For me, I want to be on meds so I can be confident I'm suppressed then I won't put others at risk. I want to have as normal a life as possible and part of that is dating and I think it's gone much better being on meds because everyone wants to know if I'm undetectable and even though you have been low, many things can change that including time. It'll only increase as you go on. Also that CD4 count could and should be higher which meds will help

  • As long as you are undetectable and your cell count doesn't drop below 200, I wouldn't start cocktail meds. But consider taking Truvada it's minimal on side effects for about a month. Then they subside after your body adjusts. Truvada will keep you undetectable as long as you take it every day.

  • Hi

    The viral load is basically represents how many particles of virus per millimetre of blood and is important when it comes to judging when a person has become undetectable (suppressed) however it bares little significance to how quickly or to what extent the virus advances. In other words there is essentially no difference between having a viral load of 500,000 or 1 million.

    ARV treatment works by treating all particles of the virus at the same time not each particle at a time therefor how quickly a person reaches undetectable from beginning treatment really depends on how well their body takes to it which in your case I would imagine quite well given that you are already undetectable and report no side effects.

    Triumeq is newer and one of the best treatments you could be on for HIV. Stick with it and stick with the good work you must be doing. 😊

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