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Viral Load and Log Value

 

Table of Common Tests and Ranges
Each lab typically provides "normal" ranges of values along with the test results, although some labs may differ in the exact ranges of the normal values. Remember to ask you physician for a copy of your laboratory results for your own personal records, so that you can monitor trends in your lab tests.
Red Blood Cells (RBCs) Female: 4.0-5.3
Male : 4.5-6.1
million cells per cubic millimeter (million/mm 3 )
Hemoglobin (HB or HGB) Female: 12-16
Male: 14-18
grams per deciliter (g/dl)
grams per deciliter (g/dl)
Hematocrit (HCT) Female: 37-47
Male: 42-52
%
%
White Blood Cells (WBCs) 4.3-10.8 thousand cells per cubic millimeter (thousand/mm 3 )
Basophil % of White Blood Cells 0-3 %
Eosinophil % of White Blood Cells 0-7 %
Lymphocyte % of White Blood Cells 12-50 %
Monocyte % of White Blood Cells 0-12 %
Neutrophil % of White Blood Cells 40-73 %
Lymphocyte Subsets:    
Total T Lymphocytes (CD3) 990-1,910 cells per cubic millimeter (cells/mm 3 )
Total CD4 T-cells 590-1,120 cells per cubic millimeter (cells/mm 3 )
Total CD8 T-cells 330-790 cells per cubic millimeter (cells/mm 3 )
T-lymphocyte percentage (CD3 %) 61-85 %
CD4 T-cell percentage (CD4 %) 28-58 %
CD8 T-cell percentage (CD8 %) 19-48 %
Platelet Count 140,000-440,000 cells per cubic millimeter (cells/mm 3 )
Liver Function Tests:    
ALT (SGPT or Alanine aminotransferase) 0-45 units/liter (u/L)
AST (SGOT or Aspartate aminotransferase) 0-41 units/liter (u/L)
Lactic Dehydrogenase (LDH) 50-115 units/liter (u/L)
Phosphatase (alkaline) 36-125 units/liter (u/L)
Bilirubin (total) 0.1-1.2 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl)
Kidney Function Tests:    
BUN (Blood Urea Nitrogen) 7-28 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl)
Creatinine 0.6-1.5 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl)
Uric Acid 3-7 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl)
Red Blood Cell Indices:    
Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin (MCH) 27-33 picogram per red blood cell
MCH Concentration (MCHC) 32-36  %
Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV) 79-100 femtoliters
Amylase 53-160* units/liter (u/L)
Calcium (urine) Female: <250
Male: <300
mg/day
Cholesterol 120-220 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl)
Creatine Phospokinase (CK or CPK) female: 10-79
male: 17-148
units/liter (u/L)
Glucose 70-125 mg/dL
Magnesium 0.6-1.0 mmol/L
Potassium 3.5-5.3 mmol/L
Sodium 135-146 mmol/L
Protein 6.0-8.3 grams per deciliter (g/dl)
Total Albumin 3.2-5.5 grams per deciliter (g/dl)
Globulin 1.5-3.8 grams per deciliter (g/dl)
Triglycerides 35-160 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl)
Urea Nitrogen (see BUN) 7-28 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl)
* In our review of lab reports, the normal range for amylase, in particular, varied widely.
As with all these values, it is important to examine your report to find the normal ranges for your lab.
   Interpreting Your Viral Load Numbers Users of viral load tests have had to learn or relearn a few words not heard since math class. Because changes in viral load can be very large, researchers use a "LOGarithmic" scale to express the test results. The log scale is simply a shorthand way to express these large numbers. The following is a method to help you figure out your log change based on your viral load numbers. It is generally viewed that a 1.5 log or larger increase/decrease is meaningful. The simplified table below gives you the log values to different levels of viral load (copies HIV RNA). Here is a simple way to figure out your very own viral load log change. 1.             Find your previous viral load value or round off to the nearest value shown on the table. Read the number in the right hand column. Write that log value here: 2.             Find your new viral load value or round off to the nearest value shown on the table. Read the number in the right hand column. Write that log value here: 3.             Next, subtract the smaller log value from the larger log value.
_____ (larger) minus _____ (smaller) equals:
4.             The result in #3 is the log change and is either a decrease or increase based on the previous and new viral load values.
Copies HIV RNA Log Value Copies HIV RNA Log Value
100,000,000 8 6,000 3.75
60,000,000 7.75 3,000 3.5
30,000,000 7.5 2,000 3.25
20,000,000 7.25 1,000 3
10,000,000 7 600 2.75
6,000,000 6.75 300 2.5
3,000,000 6.5 200 2.25
2,000,000 6.25 100 2
1,000,000 6 60 1.75
600,000 5.75 30 1.5
300,000 5.5 20 1.25
200,000 5.25 10 1
100,000 5 6 0.75
60,000 4.75 3 0.5
30,000 4.5 2 0.25
20,000 4.25 1 ~0
10,000 4    
Follow these two examples for more help. Case Study 1: A few months ago, Jan started a new regimen of anti-HIV drugs, which she and her doctor hoped would help reduce her increasing viral load. The results from her previous viral load test six months ago was 635,000 copies. Her most recent test done two weeks ago showed 212,000 copies. So, according to the table, Jan started at 635,000 copies HIV RNA -- about a 5.75 log value. Her last test showed 212,000 copies, or about a 5.25 log value. By subtracting 5.75 minus 5.25, her log change is a 0.5 log decrease in viral load. Case Study 2: Recently, John has not been taking his anti-HIV drugs as prescribed due to major changes in his life. His most recent viral load test from last month showed 27,000 copies. His previous test from five months ago showed 325 copies. So, according to the table, John started at 325 copies, or about a 2.5 log value; and his last test showed 27,000 copies, or about a 4.5 log value. He subtracted 2.5 from 4.5 which gave him a 2 log increase in viral load. Some other guidelines to help you better understand logs.
If your viral load value decreases by: Your change is:
1/2 (original divided by 2)
1/3 (original divided by 3)
1/4 (original divided by 4)
1/5 (original divided by 5)
1/10 (original divided by 10)
1/100 (original divided by 100)
0.3 log
0.5 log
0.6 log
0.7 log
1.0 log
2.0 log
If your viral load value increases by: Your change is:
2 (original times 2)
3 (original times 3)
4 (original times 4)
5 (original times 5)
10 (original times 10)
100 (original times 100)
0.3 log
0.5 log
0.6 log
0.7 log
1.0 log
2.0 log

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