This test is used to detect and quantitate HIV-1 in plasma. This is commonly referred to as the viral load.
The test can help determine, along with a CD4 count, if and when treatment should be initiated, when to test for drug resistance, or if a different type of treatment protocol is needed. Treatment with anti-viral agents can decrease the viral load in the blood to low or undetectable levels but cannot fully eradicate it from the body.
When a person is infected with HIV, the virus replicates and produces more and more copies of itself. These copies then move into the lymph nodes, spleen, and other parts of the body. In the early stages of infection, there may not be any noticeable signs or symptoms of disease or only flu-like symptoms, although the virus is usually present in high amounts. Even when there are no symptoms, the virus continues to replicate and to damage or kill immune cells.
As HIV progresses, the virus continues to replicate and the number of copies of virus, the viral load increases in the blood. If you have been diagnosed with HIV, the measurement of an HIV viral load (HIV RNA) gives your healthcare provider a general indication of how much HIV is present in the body and how rapidly the virus is replicating.
Persons with suspected infection, multiple partners, having unprotected intercourse; As a followup in conjunction to the initial HIV test ordered to determine how many copies are directly in the body or as an early detection test being that this test helps detect the virus as soon as it appears in the bloodstream before any antibodies are developed.
No special preparation is necessary prior to blood sample collection.
STD Counseling is available for positive HIV results. This includes one of our doctor’s on staff calling you to notify you of your results, as well as some next action plans.
Estimated Turn Around For Results:
2-10 Business Days
For an exact turnaround time for results, please contact us at Personalabs and we will contact the lab on your behalf as turnaround times vary depending on testing location or lab testing provider.