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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  • The genetics of coping with HIV

    We respond to infections in two fundamental ways. One is 'resistance,' where the body attacks the invading pathogen and reduces its numbers. Another, which is much less well understood, is 'tolerance,' where the body tries to minimize the damage done by the pathogen. A study using data from a large Swiss cohort of HIV-infected individuals gives us a glimpse into why some people cope with HIV better than others.

    12 November 2014 | Science Daily
  • Viral Load Testing Dismally Absent in Africa

    As Africa scales up lifesaving antiretroviral therapy for HIV positive people, concerns are rife that the absence of mass routine viral load testing will hamper extending treatment to the millions who need it.

    20 May 2014 | Inter Press Service
  • Is Viral Load Testing for HIV a Realistic Strategy in Developing Countries?

    Are the new WHO recommendations realistic for low-income countries? If not, what needs to be done to achieve better access to technologies for viral load monitoring in resource-poor settings?

    28 February 2014 | PLOS Blogs
  • Viral load tests 'could transform HIV treatment failure'

    Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is calling for an increased use of viral load monitoring to improve treatment outcomes of HIV patients, in its latest study on testing in Africa. Of those suspected of treatment failure after standard HIV tests such as white cell counts and clinical signs, as many as 70 per cent could be unnecessarily switched to more toxic treatments because these tests can falsely suggest their first-line treatment is failing, MSF’s study reports.

    02 January 2014 | SciDev.net
  • 'Samba' viral load machine a boost for HIV patients in Malawi

    Viral load testing becomes easier and quicker, improves life in remote rural areas.

    02 January 2014 | Gulfnews.com
  • Finding new ways to make viral load testing cheaper

    As the number of people receiving HIV treatment rises, and more people become eligible for treatment, the prohibitive cost of viral load tests will have to come down, and donors should use their purchasing power to push for better prices, said medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in a report released at the 17th International AIDS Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa.

    13 December 2013 | IRIN
  • Malawi's success story in reducing HIV infection

    Through dispensing antiretroviral drugs and monitoring their effectiveness, Malawi has slashed deaths and infection rates

    02 December 2013 | The Guardian
  • HIV Viral load testing to start at regional hospitals

    HIV-infected people could soon learn about the viral-load status of their blood from nearby regional hospitals, as the National Center for AIDS and STD Control (NCASC) of the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) has been preparing to set up such facilities at regional hospitals also. HIV patients would no longer be compelled to visit the capital to find out the density of the virus in their blood once these facilities became operational, officials at NCASC said.

    09 October 2013 | Republica
  • Wanted: a standard model of HIV and Aids diagnostics for Africa

    A standardised protocol on diagnosis and tests will streamline drug development and distribution, and provide faster treatments.

    06 August 2013 | The Guardian
  • HCV RNA Levels Stable in People on ART But Not on Anti-HCV Therapy

    HCV RNA levels hardly changed over five years in HCV/HIV co-infected people taking combination antiretroviral therapy, but not anti-HCV therapy, according to results of a EuroSIDA analysis.

    31 July 2013 | International AIDS Society
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