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A Viral Load Under 20,000 Is Beneficial

A Viral Load Under 20,000 Is Beneficial

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While many HIV patients have been able to reduce blood-based viral loads to undetectable levels, new research shows that viral loads held under 20,000 copies still reduce the risk of falling CD4-cell counts and developing opportunistic infections. Researchers report in the September 1 edition of Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes that study subjects with viral loads between 400 and 20,000 copies posted a median CD4-cell rebound of 13 cells during an average of 4.3 years of follow-up; those with viral loads above 20,000 had an average 23-cell decrease. Risks for developing an opportunistic infection or dying were no different for patients with viral loads under 20,000 and those under 400 but were significantly higher when viral levels remained above 20,000. The researchers say maintaining moderate viremia can still confer clinical benefits and note that 'this should be taken into account when considering the risks and benefits of continuing therapy.'

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Ryan is the Digital Director of The Advocate Channel, and a graduate of NYU Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing. She is also a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. While her specialties are television writing and comedy, Ryan is a young member of the LGBTQ+ community passionate about politics and advocating for all.

Ryan is the Digital Director of The Advocate Channel, and a graduate of NYU Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing. She is also a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. While her specialties are television writing and comedy, Ryan is a young member of the LGBTQ+ community passionate about politics and advocating for all.