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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  • 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
  • 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
  • Cepheid and FIND Announce European Approval of Xpert HIV-1 Viral Load

    Cepheid and the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) today announced that Xpert® HIV-1 Viral Load, a quantitative test for measurement of the HIV-1 viral load in plasma, has achieved CE-IVD status under the European Directive on In Vitro Diagnostic Medical Devices. The test runs on the Cepheid GeneXpert® System, the world's leading molecular diagnostic platform with over 7,500 systems deployed globally in both developed and emerging market countries.

    21 January 2015 | Cepheid press release
  • Issue Brief: Achieving undetectable: what questions remain in scaling-up HIV virologic treatment monitoring?

    Although the majority of developing countries do not yet offer viral load testing on a routine basis, the use of HIV viral load monitoring is rapidly gathering pace in most developing countries. Which questions remain in further scaling up this gold standard for HIV treatment monitoring in these countries? Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is releasing Achieving Undetectable, the latest in a series of issue briefs and reports on access to viral load monitoring in resource-limited settings.

    15 December 2014 | MSF
  • 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
  • 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
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