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undetectable meaning

Feb 8, 2012

what does undetectable means in H.I.V? is it CD4 count or viral load?and also whats the best cd4 and viral load for people with h.i.v?

Response from Dr. Hightow-Weidman

Hello there- Undetectable refers to the amount of HIV (the HIV viral load) in your blood. Undetectable means that the amount of HIV in that sample is below the limits of detection by the methods used. It is our goal to get someone with HIV to have an undetectable viral load when we put them on HIV meds. The CD4 count is a measure of the immune system and how well it can fight off infections. There is a lot of debate of what a "low" CD4 count is. I tend to think of a low CD4 counts below 350 cells but certainly having 350 cells is better than having 20 so it is really based on the individual. A normal level is between 500 and 1500 so that is where I love to see my patients get. Take care,


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