Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome AIDS Testing

The HIV test is always positive in those who have AIDS. A specific type of white blood cell, called the CD4 T lymphocyte, is low in those who have AIDS. In order to make the diagnosis of AIDS, the CD4 T lymphocyte count should be less than 200.

HIV Treatment Monitoring
Blood tests:

  • You should have blood tests for HIV viral load and CD4 count every 3-4 months.
  • HIV viral load: measures the amount of virus in the bloodstream
    • Your medication is working properly if your viral load remains low.
    • Best lab value for assessing the success of HAART; drugs should suppress this level to less than 50 copies per milliliter
    • If your viral load is high, your doctor may change the dose of your HIV medication, replace one of your medications, or add a new medication.
  • CD4 count: measures the number of CD4 white blood cells per cubic millimeter of blood

Continue to Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome HIV Testing

Last Updated: Jun 1, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome References
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