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
- 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
- CD4 white blood cells are part of the immune system, which fights infection.
- If your CD4 count is low, then your immune system is weak.
- The CD4 count allows the doctor to monitor your risk for an infection.
- If your CD4 count is low, your doctor may recommend antibiotics, in order to prevent an infection.
- When CD4 count is less than 200 cells per cubic millimeter there is a greater risk for Pneumocystis pneumonia
- When CD4 count is less than 100 cells per cubic millimeter there is a greater risk for Toxoplasmosis infection.
- When CD4 count is less than 50 cells per cubic millimeter there is a greater risk for Mycobacterium avium complex (atypical mycobacteria infection)
Continue to Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome HIV Testing
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