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viral load test

May 7, 2012

hi doc, i read in an article : "The viral load test results can be thrown off if your body is fighting an infection, or if you have just received an immunization (like a flu shot). You should not have blood taken for a viral load test within four weeks of any infection or immunization." why the test result is thrown off? regards.

Response from Dr. Young


HIV viral loads can be elevated when the immune system is activated. As such, viral load testing isn't recommended to assess ART when you've recently had a vaccination or infection (herpes, sinus infection, bronchitis).

Viral load testing isn't recommended or approved for testing chronic HIV infection; only antibody testing should be used in this setting.


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