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What is a viral load blip?

When you’re talking about your viral load, people always ask if it goes up should I be worried, when should I investigate changing medications, those kinds of things. There are occasions when it is called a blip. Where it kind of creeps up a little bit. This may not mean that the medication is not working but it just means that in your normal body chemistry and the way your immune system is working, at some point the virus kind of peaked up a little bit and then you just have to recheck it and it will probably go back down again.
It doesn’t necessarily mean that the virus is getting resistant or your medications aren’t working. It just means that it may be a little bit of a rise.
You just may need to repeat the test in a month or so. But if it starts to creep up sequentially over time, that’s when you probably need to be concerned.

Dr. David Malebranche, MD, MPH, a clinician-researcher specializing in HIV, gives the lowdown on all things HIV care and treatment in the latest installment of the #AskTheHIVDoc video series.


#AskTheHIVDoc is a video series from Greater Than HIV featuring top HIV doctors providing answers to commonly-asked questions about HIV prevention, testing and treatment.

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