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HIV Viral Load

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Also known as: HIV Nucleic Acid Amplification Test; HIV NAAT; HIV NAT; HIV PCR; HIV RNA Test; HIV Quantification
Formal name: Human Immunodeficiency Virus RNA, Quantitative
Related tests: CD4 Count; HIV Antibody and HIV Antigen (p24); HIV Drug Resistance (Genotypic and Phenotypic)

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At a Glance

Why Get Tested?

If you have been diagnosed with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), initially to determine the status of the infection and subsequently to monitor the effectiveness of antiretroviral treatment

When to Get Tested?

When first diagnosed with HIV; 2 to 8 weeks after the start of therapy or therapy changes, then every 4 to 8 weeks until the viral load is not detectable; then every 3 to 4 months if you are on stable therapy and the virus remains suppressed; after two years of this, viral load testing frequency may be decreased to every 6 months.

Sample Required?

A blood sample drawn from a vein in your arm

Test Preparation Needed?

None