Advertisement

The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol

How Is Viral Load Measured

Here's a taste of what TheBody.com has to offer on this topic:
Get the Facts
The Well Project

Women and HIV Viral Load

Table of Contents What Is a Viral Load? How Are Viral Load Results Used? When Should You Be Tested? Women and Viral Load Areas of Future Viral Load Research What Is a Viral Load? HIV attacks immune system cells called CD4 cells. HIV enters these cells and turns them into virusfactories that produce thousands of copies of HIV. As the virus grows, itdamages or kills CD4 cells, weakening your immune system. Viral load is the...
Ask the Experts

viral load measurement

Dear Mark:For a patient who has tested positive, but has an undetectable viral load via Amplicor 1.5 AND viral symptoms persisting with CD4 declining, would you recommend any other viral load assay? Would the bDNA be useful? If even that is...
Mark Holodniy, M.D., F.A.C.P., C.I.C.

Response from Mark Holodniy, M.D., F.A.C.P., C.I.C.

Stanford University, School of Medicine
Always worth while trying another testing platform. It is unlikely that one is more "accurate" than another.... Read more »

What does viral load measure?

I phoned the lab where the viral load is measured and they told me they really don't know what they are measuring.I have read viral load measures ALL virus dead or alive, which means viral particles that don't have an affect on the body...
Mark Holodniy, M.D., F.A.C.P., C.I.C.

Response from Mark Holodniy, M.D., F.A.C.P., C.I.C.

Stanford University, School of Medicine
You are correct, viral load measures all viral particles that contain HIV RNA. The test cannot distinguish between infectious and noninfectious particles. However, the test has been validated in numerous studies for prognosis and treatment response.... Read more »

viral load measurement

If there are many different stains of HIV, how do they measure the viral load? Do they test for all the different strains?Mine is "undetectable", but how do I know they are testing for the strain that I have?...
Renslow Sherer, M.D.

Response from Renslow Sherer, M.D.

University of Chicago Hospitals
The viral load assays that are commonly used in the US at present do measure RNA from both B clade - the most common in North America - and non-B clades. The issue of the reliability of both the ELISA for HIV antibody and the tests for RNA, i.e.... Read more »

How is viral load measured? (unit used)

I've recently had a friend move in my home who tested positive when the HIV test was first made available in '85. Donate blood from '82 also contained the virus confirmed by the CDC. His viral load and T cell count have both dropped...
Mark Holodniy, M.D., F.A.C.P., C.I.C.

Response from Mark Holodniy, M.D., F.A.C.P., C.I.C.

Stanford University, School of Medicine
Not knowing any of the treatment history it's hard to comment. However, a CD4 cell change from 18 to 8 is not significant. Cells are measured in # cells/mm3, or in percentage of CD4 cells. Likewise at such high viral load levels, a change from... Read more »
Connect With Others

viral load

Posted by Anonymous, 1 Reply
Does the viral load go up after exposure or during ARS ?
And then does it go back down after 6 months? Read more »

cd4 or viral load

Posted by Lilly, 2 Replies
When starting to think about treatment, does either counts (cd4s or viral load) play a bigger role? My viral load has recently dropped, but so has my cd4's. My counts are all still at a comfortable level for me with no meds, but at the clinic... Read more »

Tcells and Viral Load numbers

Posted by malias90, 1 Reply
My tcells are 617 and my viral load is 198,000. My viral load in May 05 was 60,000. They think I have inflammation in my urine, white cells in it. My nausea besides happening with the HIV meds I am on could be related to my intestinal issues.
Please... Read more »

viral load

Posted by kaliboo, 2 Replies
I've been trying to find out what your viral load is (approximately, of course) shortly after being infected... and have had no luck...

So I guess I'm just wondering... what was your viral load when it was first tested? Read more »