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HIV Viral Load Questions

What is a HIV Viral Load?

The Viral Load helps decide how many HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) antibodies are present in the blood. A sample of blood is sent to a lab for testing. The number of copies of this virus per milliliter of blood is exposed in the results. Since HIV reproduces, each virus is referred to as a copy. This test can help provide more reliable results as to what effects are caused on the body. However, the effects of HIV of on the immune system can be found out with a CD4+ test. When starting treatments with medications, this can be decided upon by the viral load test. When someone needs to have a viral load test performed, questions can arise about the accuracy, results and prognosis. Read below for questions that have been answered by Experts about the HIV viral load.

Would a HIV viral load test be needed if HIV testing is negative?

The need for an HIV viral load test would depend on the clinical situation that is present. If the HIV antibody test is negative, there may be no reason to have a viral load test performed. Some doctors will utilize a viral load test to help diagnose an acute HIV infection. In such as case, the test will be used in the early window before an HIV antibody test is reliably positive. This test is normally accurate during the early window period. Also, it can be considered to be definitive in diagnosing HIV.

Would HIV be transmittable with an undetected HIV viral load?

The risk of transmitting can be lower if the viral load remains undetectable for a prolonged period. However, the risk of transmission is not zero. If someone performs unprotected sexual intercourse, someone else could become infected. if someone misses a dose of medication, the risk can increase. Any skipped doses could lead to a temporary increase in the viral load. Also, someone could have an undetectable HIV viral load in the blood, but there can be a detectable viral load in the vaginal fluids. Some Mutations could arise which could cause a resistance and loss of control. Some individuals can have small rises or transient increases in the viral load with good control. Therefore, to help prevent transmission precautions may still need to be taken.

What are good HIV viral load test results?

The results of a HIV viral load test are produced as copies in milliliters of blood. The disease can progress faster if the viral load is high. Also, a high viral load can indicate the virus is reproducing. A high viral load can be between 5,000 and 10,000 copies per milliliter during treatment and monitoring. The results can range as high as one million or more for untreated or uncontrolled HIV. Depending on the type of test that is used a low viral load can be between 40 and 500 copies. The lower result can show the risk of progression can be low and the virus may not be actively reproducing. However, an undetectable result does not indicate the virus has been cured.

Would the HIV viral load determine how long someone has been infected?

The viral load can be used to calculate the amount of virus that that could be in the body fluid. The severity of the infection can also be detected. The results are given in RNA copies per milliliter of blood plasma. Finding the viral load can be part of the therapy and monitoring for immunocompromised people and chronic viral infections. Testing for HIV-1, cytomegalovirus, hepatitis B and C is currently available.

This type of test can be used to help find out the amount of virus is present in the body. This test can help determine if an infection is present before other tests can provide accurate results. When someone needs a viral load count, questions and concerns can arise. For more information or reliable answers, individual can contact an Expert.
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