HIV affects the immune system. Testing a small sample of blood can show the health of the immune system and how much HIV is in the blood. Other tests can look at the health of other parts of the body, which may be affected by HIV or other conditions.

Health monitoring: latest news

Health monitoring resources

  • CD4, viral load & other tests

    This booklet provides information on tests used to monitor health, including CD4 counts and viral load testing. ...

    From: Booklets

    Information level Level 2
  • CD4 and viral load

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

    From: The basics

    Information level Level 1
  • Undetectable viral load

    If your viral load result is undetectable, there is only a little HIV in the body. The aim of HIV treatment is to have an...

    From: The basics

    Information level Level 1
  • Health checks

    Staff at your HIV clinic use various tests to keep an eye on your health. Many of these tests are done on samples of your...

    From: The basics

    Information level Level 1
  • CD4 cell counts

    CD4 cell counts give an indication of the health of your immune system.Your CD4 cell count should go up when you take HIV treatment.Monitoring CD4...

    From: Factsheets

    Information level Level 2
  • Liver function tests

    People living with HIV should have regular blood tests to monitor liver function.The liver plays an important role in processing drugs used to treat HIV...

    From: Factsheets

    Information level Level 2
  • Monitoring the health of your child

    Your child will have regular clinic appointments, generally every three to four months. These visits usually involve a number of tests, to see whether HIV is affecting their...

    From: Booklets

    Information level Level 2
  • Health checks for HIV

    To protect your immune system and maintain your health and wellbeing, it is recommended that you have regular medical monitoring at an HIV specialist centre (this is often...

    From: Booklets

    Information level Level 2
  • Health issues

    If you are ‘HIV positive’ this means that you have a virus called HIV in your body. It doesn’t mean that you are ill, or that...

    From: Booklets

    Information level Level 2
  • Viral load

    Effective HIV treatment results in a fall in viral loadAn undetectable viral load is the aim of HIV treatment.Having an undetectable viral load massively reduces...

    From: Factsheets

    Information level Level 2
  • Monitoring the safety and effectiveness of HIV treatment

    Before you start taking anti-HIV drugs, or if you need to switch to a new combination, you should have a number of blood tests. To help make sure...

    From: Booklets

    Information level Level 2
  • High blood pressure

    You should have your blood pressure monitored regularly as part of your HIV care.HIV drugs can interact with other medicines to affect blood pressure.Blood pressure...

    From: Factsheets

    Information level Level 2
  • Monitoring the immune system

    Information on medical tests, including CD4 cell counts, viral load measurements, and procedures carried out for medical problems commonly experienced by HIV-positive people....

    From: HIV treatments directory

    Information level Level 4
  • A to Z of tests

    A list of medical tests and procedures for problems commonly encountered by HIV-positive people in the UK, detailing what they involve, and when and why...

    From: HIV treatments directory

    Information level Level 4

Health monitoring features

Health monitoring in your own words

Health monitoring news from aidsmap

More news

Health monitoring news selected from other sources

  • If at First an HIV Viral Load Blips, Test, Test (the Same Sample) Again

    If an HIV-positive patient's viral load test results come back between 50 copies/mL and 200 copies/mL, consider retesting the same blood sample, Joseph Eron Jr., M.D., suggests. According to study results he presented at IDWeek 2016 on Oct. 28, the new test result may well show a viral load below 50 copies m/L, potentially altering the choices a clinician makes of how to approach that patient's care.

    09 November 2016 | The Body Pro
  • Early-capture HIV study allows for characterization of acute infection period

    Acute HIV infection (AHI) contributes significantly to HIV transmission and may be important for intervention strategies seeking to reduce incidence and achieve a functional cure. In a study by the U.S. Military HIV Research Program (MHRP), Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, scientists enrolled and intensively followed a cohort of high-risk individuals, tracking their HIV status and characterizing the disease through the acute stages of HIV infection.

    19 May 2016 | EurekAlert!
  • HIV and drug resistance

    A recent study found more resistance to the antiretroviral medicine tenofovir than had previously been reported, with 20% resistance to tenofovir in patients with treatment failure in Europe and over 50% resistance in patients with treatment failure in sub-Saharan Africa... The study underlines the importance of rapidly identifying treatment failure through routine measurement of viral load suppression—this is the basis of the third pillar of UNAIDS’ 90–90–90 treatment target, that 90% of people accessing HIV treatment have suppressed viral loads.

    09 February 2016 | UNAIDS
  • Undetectable & Low-level HIV Viral Replication

    Even people who are adherent to their medication regimens may experience occasional “blips” in their viral loads, experience viral rebound or maintain a steady, if low, viral load above undetectable levels. To understand why some people struggle to achieve or remain undetectable, we spoke with Keith Henry, MD, an HIV specialist at Hennepin County Medical Center who has more than 25 years of experience caring for people with HIV.

    06 January 2016 | BETA blog
  • Cepheid announces European approval of Xpert HCV Viral Load

    Quantitative test for rapid measurement of hepatitis C virus viral load and confirmation of HCV infection delivers on-demand results in less than 2 hours.

    16 April 2015 | Cepheid press release
  • Could a $34 smartphone device improve HIV diagnosis in Africa?

    A $34 device that plugs into the audio jack of a smartphone was nearly as effective as far more costly diagnostic blood testing equipment in identifying antibodies for HIV and syphilis in a pilot study in Africa, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday.

    06 February 2015 | Reuters
  • An HIV Doctor Tells You If Undetectable Really Is the New Negative

    Does being undetectable change the way you talk about your HIV status? Can a person who is undetectable stop worrying about transmitting HIV? Joel Gallant, an HIV doctor at Southwest CARE Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico gives his view.

    28 January 2015 | The Body
  • Different community HIV testing and counselling approaches reach different populations in rural Africa

    Home- and community-based HIV testing and counselling services can achieve high participation uptake in rural Africa but reach different populations within a community and should be provided, depending on the groups that are being targeted, according to new research published in PLOS Medicine.

    17 December 2014 | Medical News Today
  • Sophisticated HIV diagnostics adapted for remote areas

    Diagnosing HIV and other infectious diseases presents unique challenges in remote locations that lack electric power, refrigeration, and appropriately trained health care staff. To address these issues, researchers have developed a low-cost, electricity-free device capable of detecting the DNA of infectious pathogens, including HIV-1.

    10 December 2014 | Science Daily
  • Sophisticated HIV diagnostics adapted for remote areas

    Diagnosing HIV and other infectious diseases presents unique challenges in remote locations that lack electric power, refrigeration, and appropriately trained health care staff. To address these issues, researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health have developed a low-cost, electricity-free device capable of detecting the DNA of infectious pathogens, including HIV-1.

    02 December 2014 | National Institutes of Health
More news

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.

See also

Community Consensus Statement on Access to HIV Treatment and its Use for Prevention

Together, we can make it happen

We can end HIV soon if people have equal access to HIV drugs as treatment and as PrEP, and have free choice over whether to take them.

Launched today, the Community Consensus Statement is a basic set of principles aimed at making sure that happens.

The Community Consensus Statement is a joint initiative of AVAC, EATG, MSMGF, GNP+, HIV i-Base, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, ITPC and NAM/aidsmap
close

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.

NAM’s information is intended to support, rather than replace, consultation with a healthcare professional. Talk to your doctor or another member of your healthcare team for advice tailored to your situation.