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What is human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) viral load test used for?

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Your viral load gives you an idea of how much of the HIV virus is in your body. It also can be used as a test to help diagnose HIV in your results from an HIV antibody test was inconclusive.

Keeping your viral load low will make complications of HIV less likely and help you live longer.

SOURCES:

UpToDate: "Techniques and interpretation of HIV-1 RNA quantitation," "Patient education: Tests to monitor HIV (The Basics)."

Lab Tests Online: "HIV Viral Load."

AIDSmap: "Types of viral load tests."

AIDS Treatment Data Network: "Viral Load Tests."

American Family Physician: "Plasma Viral Load Testing and HIV."

Reviewed by Jonathan E. Kaplan on May 28, 2019

SOURCES:

UpToDate: "Techniques and interpretation of HIV-1 RNA quantitation," "Patient education: Tests to monitor HIV (The Basics)."

Lab Tests Online: "HIV Viral Load."

AIDSmap: "Types of viral load tests."

AIDS Treatment Data Network: "Viral Load Tests."

American Family Physician: "Plasma Viral Load Testing and HIV."

Reviewed by Jonathan E. Kaplan on May 28, 2019

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How is the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) viral load measured?

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