Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is the
combination of several antiretroviral medicines used to slow the rate at which
HIV makes copies of itself (multiplies) in the body. A
combination of three or more antiretroviral medicines is more effective than
using just one medicine (monotherapy) to treat HIV.
The use of
three or more antiretroviral medicines—sometimes referred to as an anti-HIV
"cocktail"—is currently the standard treatment for HIV infection. So far, this
treatment offers the best chance of preventing HIV from multiplying, which
immune system to stay healthy. The goal of
antiretroviral therapy is to reduce the amount of virus in your body (viral
load) to a level that can no longer be detected with current blood
The HIV viral load is the number of copies of the human immunodeficiency virus in your blood and other parts of your body. The HIV viral load test involves taking a blood sample from a vein in your arm. The amount of HIV in your blood is then measured. Along with other tests, the HIV viral load test helps monitor your disease, guide HIV therapy, and predict how your disease may progress. Keeping your viral load low can reduce complications of HIV disease and extend your life.
Two common test numbers...