What is "viral load"?

What is an HIV viral load report?

What can I do to decrease my viral load?

What does the viral load tell me?
What is the difference between CD4 count and viral load?
Why does HIV affect CD4 cells?
How do I know when I am ready to take meds?

What is an HIV viral load report?

An HIV report tells you a few things

  • It gives you a number = This number tells you how many HIV viruses you have in each cubic centimeter (cc) in your blood?

    The test can measure between 50 to 500,000 (in each c.c. of blood). If there are less than 50 HIV viruses in each c.c. of blood, that means that your viral load is "undetectable."

    An undetectable HIV viral load does not mean:

a) there is no virus in your blood
b) that you are cured of HIV

Even if your HIV viral load is 1 (which will probably never happen!), it still does not mean you are cured of HIV. There HIV virus in other parts of your body than your blood stream and these are not measured by the viral load test.

 
 
 
 
Hospital for Sick Children University of Toronto Positive Youth Outreach CATIE