A viral load test shows how much HIV there is in a small sample of blood. The lower the amount the better. The aim of HIV treatment is to reduce viral load to a level which is too low to be measured by standard tests. This is called an ‘undetectable’ viral load. This means HIV is still present in your body, but at a low level.

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  • 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
  • Malawi: Govt Launches HIV Viral Load Scale Up Strategic Implementation Plan

    Government on Wednesday launched the Viral Load scale Up Strategic Implementation Plan for the years 2015 to 2018.

    19 January 2016 | AllAfrica
  • 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
  • Routine viral load tests must be accessible for all

    In Zambia, on 30 October, hundreds of people marched as part of a new campaign calling on African governments to make viral load tests routinely available to all citizens living with HIV. The campaign Be Healthy – Know your viral load was launched in Lusaka, and people living with HIV, treatment advocates and representatives from the participating countries* took part in a march which was flagged off by George Nyendwa, Mayor of Lusaka.

    10 November 2015 | Key Correspondents
  • FS, the UK gay men's sex and health magazine, magazine celebrates its 150th issue with its biggest gay sex survey

    FS magazine celebrates its 150th issue with the big gay sex survey results. We surveyed over 3,000 gay men and bring you the results. These include finding that two-thirds of gay men used ocndoms the last time they had anal sex, that 69% now know what PrEP is but that only 51% understand what being positive and undetectable means.

    08 October 2015 | GMFA
  • STIs Have Minimal Effects on Viral Load of People on HIV Treatment

    Sexually transmitted infections apparently have a minimal effect on the HIV viral load of those who are taking antiretrovirals for the virus. Having an STI was associated with a 29 percent rise in viral load but this finding was not statistically significant. The researchers concluded that having an STI is not likely to reduce the effectiveness of ARVs as a form of HIV prevention.

    03 September 2015 | POZ
  • Vancouver delegates call for greater innovation in HIV diagnostics

    Innovation in HIV diagnostics is urgently needed if the world hopes to achieve the 90–90–90 target for access to antiretroviral therapy, leading scientific experts advised this week. The call for intensified effort and innovation on HIV diagnostics occurred during two sessions at the 8th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention, held in Vancouver, Canada.

    22 July 2015 | UNAIDS
  • New Approach on HIV Viral Load Testing

    Framework agreements will be established between the Global Fund and seven diagnostic manufacturers which aim to make the market for HIV viral load testing more transparent and competitive, driving cost reductions of up to one third. The agreements should deliver net savings of at least US$30 million over three years to the Global Fund, and potentially much more.

    17 June 2015 | Global Fund
  • A gay’s guide to undetectable

    Undetectable Viral Load. It’s a phrase you might have heard a bit recently, with an increased focus on educating HIV positive and negative gay men about what it is, and how it can prevent the spread of HIV. For something that’s been around since 1996 (the same year the Spice Girls released Wannabe, for context) it’s strange we’ve only recently embraced Undetectable Viral Load (UVL) – but HIV is a demanding beast that science, research, and community opinion chases to keep up with. What “undetectable” means to you depends entirely on your HIV status, your sexual behaviour, and your definition of risk. With that in mind, let’s unload…

    11 June 2015 | Gay News Network, Australia
  • Still refusing to date HIV+ guys? Here’s why you could be putting your health at risk

    Matthew Hodson, of UK-based gay men’s health charity, GMFA, explains why arguments for not having sex with gay men who are HIV positive make little sense – and could actually pose a danger for those who are HIV negative

    09 April 2015 | Gaystar News
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