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Old 10-13-2008, 06:33 PM   #1
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What is a "low viral load"

I saw that brieaukirsch said that "When hpv is in low viral load the test will be negative even though hpv is there." What does that mean? Is "low viral load" when the virus isn't active?

Does anyone know?

 
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Old 10-13-2008, 07:07 PM   #2
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Re: What is a "low viral load"

No, it's when the virus is present in insufficient quantities so as to miss detection by the (not-so-sensitive) Digene HC II, which tests for high and intermediate risk strains of hpv. This according to an hpv researcher, one of the scientists involved in the making of Gardasil.

As you know there is some question over whether hpv is ever truly eradicated. Most gyns say no and I am inclined to agree with them. The simple fact that a woman can test negative, then have a recurrence, without ever changing sexual partners or even having sex in between, speaks against "clearance" in the colloquial sense of the term. How very misleading that word is...I feel so led astray. Now I know that if I ever get an hpv negative pap, I will not take that as being out of the woods, joy of joys though that would be!

Pickle Eyes, how are you now? Do you have another follow up in 3 months? They are not recommending any more treatment, right? And please remind me...you had a simple hyst, no lymph node removal, yes?

 
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Old 10-13-2008, 08:14 PM   #3
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Re: What is a "low viral load"

Thank you for posting Brieaukirsh (may I abbreviate it to Brie, Briea, Brieau? you don't know how many times I've wondered how to abbreviate your name)

Oooh, that makes sense. I was wondering how sensitive the test was. I figured there was a certain level when the virus couldn't be read, but was still present. Now I know the term for that! :happy dance:

I know what you mean about "if I ever get an HPV negative result" I don't think I'll ever feel "safe" from the virus.

Yes, I had a total hyst (cervix and uterus only). There was no lymph node involvement and I didn't need chemo or radiation. I've been for my 3 month follow up and everything came back good. (I still need to get a copy of that pathology report - just to see it). I had some granualization (beginnings of scar tissue). She pinched off the areas and sent them for pathology - they came back as benign (I think that was the word she used). My pap came back good, too. WHEW!

My doctor's PA did that exam. She said I will return in 3 months (some time in Dec), but won't have another pap for a year. That kind of suprised me. I need to call the doctor's nurse back and verify that.

I wouldn't mind if I had to have a pap ever 3 months if it means catching cancer as early as we did this time! Shoot, I think I'd go MONTLY if I had to!

I always appreciate you posting. You always have such good research based information! Also, thank you for asking about me!

 
Old 10-13-2008, 08:33 PM   #4
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Re: What is a "low viral load"

Hi! I'm so glad you are doing so great. Your old posts psyched me up for the cone which (ugh) I'll be needing in a few weeks............though a big part of me wants to simply ignore my bad paps. I'm scared to undergo surgery because my herpes is SOOO out of control. (Yes, I have hsv2 as well...I feel like a petri dish. No on will believe me that I got this using condoms! My docs probably think I've slept with the whole hockey team.) Amazing that a couple mistakes/errors in judgment is costing me a lot of money and my health!

Ok.......you shouldn't let less than 3 months pass in between paps...because paps done less than 3 months later will often be falsely negative. You scrape some bad cells off now, it takes time for the bad cells to grow back. For the cervix it's 3 months anyway...the vagina is a little different, less cell turnover, but 3 months is a good rule.

YES, get the pathology because you never know what else it might show, paps can pick up a lot of things, even though its primary use is to screen for cancer. My last pap showed "rare cells" of some kind, that the gyn never called the pathologist to determine WHAT, so I went online and searched and all I could up with is rare cells are found at the beginning stages of metastasis! Ugh. I think the path forgot the rest of the dictation.

And yeah, I'd be wanting a vaginoscopy (sp), a pap, a reflex hpv test, and I think you should not settle for anything less even if you have to pay out of pocket. God, I really hate how expensive healthcare is even with good health insurance..............I am so very angry I have spent so much $ on STDs/ramifications/consequences!

You can call me anything you want!............haha...I picked the name because it's my dad's favorite dessert......I think it means cherry liqueur or something. Take care!

 
Old 10-13-2008, 08:48 PM   #5
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Re: What is a "low viral load"

I'm sorry to hear your HSV is out of control! I really don't know much about it, but know it is difficult to deal with. Hopefully you'll get it under control soon!

So you are saying that having at least 3 months between paps is good (to allow the cervix to heal from the scraping). Right? I knew it took time to heal before doing another procedure, but wasn't sure what the healing time was. I know that if I had chosen to have another colpo plus ECC done (after my first cone) before my hyst, I was going to have to wait 3 months. I assume that wait time was for healing.

I need to go search for these things, but what does the vaginoscopy (sp) do? It sounds like it might be like a colpo. And what does the reflex hpv test do? I'm heading to go search these things, but I think I'm ADD, so who knows where I'll end up before I actually find anything on either of those! LOL

I know what you mean about the out of pocket expenses. Just in the month of March (this year) I had 15 doctors appointments and/or tests/scans, etc. It got pretty pricey at $20 copays!

Have you scheduled your cone yet?

Take care, Brie (I've settled on that name)

 
Old 10-14-2008, 04:33 PM   #6
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Re: What is a "low viral load"

The vaginoscopy is a colposcopy equivalent for the vagina. Presumably they did this at your prior colpos...visualizing the fornices (posterior & anterior) as well as the vaginal walls is very important.

They can test a pap taken from the vaginal cuff for hpv. Reflex testing for hrhpv is what they do when a smear comes back abnormal, if it's a liquid based specimen they can use that to test for hrhpv using Digene HC II (just as with your cervix). Which, as we've discussed, is not the most sensitive test but it's better than nothing!

Sometimes being a woman truly blows!

 
Old 10-14-2008, 08:27 PM   #7
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Re: What is a "low viral load"

Thanks Brie! And I knew it would happen, I never made it to looking up those words! lol thanks for answering my questions!

 
Old 10-18-2008, 11:55 AM   #8
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Re: What is a "low viral load"

Hi......I meant to ask you if your hip problems are related to your hyster? What did your docs say about this?

Do you see docs at MD Anderson? I am moving to Houston next summer and I hope there a good doctors there more willing to try new things than to stay with the mainstay barbaric cutting/burning/excising methods. I am sooooo tired of gynecology stalling as if we were in the 19th century........there should be a treatment for the source of the problem not just its effects.

 
Old 10-18-2008, 12:50 PM   #9
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Re: What is a "low viral load"

I've seen 3 doctors about my hip.

On one day I had an appointment with my GP (about other problems) and with my gyn/onc (3 month follow up). Why at the GPs, my hip flared up. She said it might be a result of being in that crazy position for surgery for 3 hours. She gave me a muscle relaxer and an antiinflammatory. I went to my gyn/onc, she said it could be from weak muscles post-op and recommended Keiegel (sp) exercises.

I started the 2 prescriptions, but the pain continued so I took some of my left over vicodin. After about 4 days of that, I decided I needed to get back to the doctor. My doctor wasn't available so I saw a 3rd doctor. He represcribed vicodin and gave me a new antiinflammatory.

The pain is changing (in intensity and location), but it is still there. I am going to a chiropractor next week (because I believe a disc is pinching the nerve). If I don't get pretty quick results from the adjustments, I'll be going to a specialist. But would that be an orthopedist or a nerve doctor? I don't know.

No, I didn't go to MDAnderson. I considered it, but decided against it. My doctor is in Austin.

 
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