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CD4 and viral load

Roger Pebody

It’s important for all people with HIV to take regular blood tests. The two most important blood tests are for CD4 and viral load.

A CD4 cell count tells you about the strength of the immune system, which protects us against infections and illness. Viral load measures how much HIV there is in a drop of blood.

These blood tests give essential information about the effect HIV is having on your body.

Click here to see our illustrated leaflet giving basic information on the topic.

This leaflet is also available in Arabic, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian and Spanish.

CD4 and viral load

Published February 2012

Last reviewed February 2012

Next review February 2015

Our information levels explained

  • Short and simple introductions to key HIV topics, sometimes illustrated with pictures.
  • Expands on the previous level, but also written in easy-to-understand plain language.
  • More detailed information, likely to include medical and scientific language.
  • Detailed, comprehensive information, using medical and specialised language.

Contact NAM to find out more about the scientific research and information used to produce this leaflet.

This content was checked for accuracy at the time it was written. It may have been superseded by more recent developments. NAM recommends checking whether this is the most current information when making decisions that may affect your health.