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HIV Life >> I Just Tested Positive

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Reged: 04/18/09
Posts: 5
Lab work
      #245712 - 05/10/09 07:26 PM

Hi, What does lab work measure exactly, they say viral load, but it cant tell if you are HIV+, so how comes, which viral load then it measures, can someone clarify this issue to me in regard to the viral load and why a Lab blood work can not be used to confirm the status of a person in addition to the ELISA test?

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Reged: 03/22/08
Posts: 79
Re: Lab work new
      #245714 - 05/10/09 08:44 PM

Just from what I understand.. If you are negative then the Viral Load would just give an undetectable result, which does not necessarily mean you do not have the virus..(undetectable is under 40 copies) where the tests for HIV look for the antibodies to the virus. I am not in the medical field and am sure that other people may reply with more correct answers, but this is just one possible reason..

Most people look for the CD4+ count (and percentage) and the Viral Load to understand where they sit in the progression of the disease. Just because your numbers look good does not always mean you are in clear water.. as the virus also attacks the brain, and may cause difficulties.

ONCE AGAIN I AM NOT IN THE MEDICAL FIELD. If you have any questions that need answered by a medical professional, then ask your Primary Care Doctor.

Good luck, and I wish you Health and Happiness

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Reged: 05/13/07
Posts: 435
Loc: Phila,Pa
Re: Lab work new
      #245715 - 05/11/09 12:28 AM

like Westernbear said,the viral load is a way to measure how much virus is in your blood.The number you get from your result is the actual number of HIV virus they found in the tube of blood.Some tests can now detect as low as 25.This is not used to test is you are positive or not because of the cost and time it takes to get results.Obviously if you get any count then you are positive because a negative person will have no HIV in their blood.The viral load and CD4 count and % are like a snapshot of how you're doing at that particular time that the blood was drawn.The results can be effected by many things such as if you're just getting over an illness or infection or coming down with something,if you're stressed out,for a woman if you're having your period,even the time of day can effect the results.So like I said it's just a snapshot of how you're doing at that moment in time.Like Westernbear said the virus is in your brain,and also in your lymph nodes,reproductive organs and gut among other places. CD4 count is the measure of how many CD4 cells are in the tube of blood,the CD4 cell is a white blood cell ,there are several white blood cells that fight different types of infections,the CD4 is the one that controls the others.The other cells don't recognize and fight an infection without the CD4's prompting them.Like a general directing his troops.The percentage give tells you the ratio of CD4's to other white blood cells.

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