A to Z of tests

  • Bilirubin

    Bilirubin is a compound that is produced when red blood cells are broken down. Due to its distinctive orange or yellow colour, a build-up of

  • Blood count

    A blood count is a routine haematology test. It can be done as part of a general investigation of an acute illness, for regular monitoring of HIV infection, and to

  • Blood gases

    A blood gas test assesses whether the body is short of oxygen and is part of the investigation into symptoms of breathlessness, cough, and fever. A small

  • Bone marrow biopsy

    In HIV disease, a bone marrow biopsy is usually carried out to find the cause of a persistent fever, anaemia (low blood count), or other blood disorder such as

  • Brain scan

    Brain scans are done to help investigate the cause of persistent headache, confusion, fits, memory problems, or focal weakness in the arms or legs. They can

  • Bronchoscopy

    A bronchoscopy can be part of the investigation into the cause of a cough, breathlessness, or an abnormal chest X-ray. A bronchoscope is a flexible tube

  • CD4/CD8 ratio

    The CD4/CD8 ratio is a reflection of immune system health. A normal ratio is between 1 and 4. People without HIV infection generally have a greater

  • Cervical and anal screening

    Human papillomavirus (HPV) and other sexually transmitted infections are common among women with HIV. HPV can cause abnormalities in cervical cells which may progress to dysplasia or cervical

  • Computed tomography (CT)

    CT (or computerised axial tomography/CAT) is a widely used imaging technology that assists in the diagnosis and treatment of many conditions. In the context of HIV,

  • Endoscopy

    Endoscopy is a broad term that refers to any investigation of the inside of the body using an endoscope. The endoscope is a tube with a light and a lens at

  • G6PD

    Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency is a genetic condition that can result in the premature breakdown of red blood cells, leading to anaemia. Men are at a higher

  • HLA-B*5701

    Genetic testing for abacavir hypersensitivity is recommended before starting anyone on on the NRTI drug abacavir. The presence of the B*5701 allele increases susceptibility to

  • Karnofsky score

    The Karnofsky score is an assessment of an individual's health and wellbeing, based on a performance index of physical ability. It is often used in clinical

  • Learning about medical tests

    Medical tests and procedures are integral parts of the monitoring of HIV disease and of the investigation and treatment of symptoms. Before any test is

  • Lactate

    A lactate test can identify oxygen deficiency or other conditions that cause excess production of lactate, the ionic (electrically-charged) form of lactic acid. In HIV infection,

  • Lipids

    Lipid is a general term for fat. Lipids include various types of cholesterol, phospholipids, and triglycerides and are carried in the blood as lipoproteins. A lipid

  • Liver function

    A liver panel assesses how the liver is working. Functions of the liver include: Separating nutrients from waste. Detoxifying and purifying blood. Producing bile (for digesting fat and removing waste),

  • Lumbar puncture

    A lumbar puncture (also called a spinal tap) is normally done to help diagnose meningitis (usually Cryptococcus) or certain viral infections that can cause neurological problems.

  • Lung function tests

    Lung (also called pulmonary) function tests evaluate how well the lungs work. The most common test is spirometry. This quantifies the amount and speed at which air can be moved out

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

    Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is used to examine many different body parts including the brain, the heart, arteries, organs, and the joints, tendons, and ligaments

  • Nerve conduction tests

    A nerve conduction velocity study measures the speed of conduction of an electrical impulse through the nerve to see if there has been any damage or

  • Neurocognitive tests

    Testing is carried out by a clinical psychologist to help assess the severity and cause of cognitive symptoms such as forgetfulness, poor concentration, and mental ability. The patient

  • Renal function tests

    A creatinine test assesses kidney function and is usually given with a BUN (the blood urea nitrogen test). It is part of a routine metabolic panel ordered as part

  • Serology

    Serology refers to tests used to detect the presence of specific antibodies in the blood. These are checked to see if the individual has had a prior exposure

  • Sigmoidoscopy and rectal biopsy

    Sigmoidoscopy is a procedure done to identify the cause of persistent diarrhoea or of abnormal bleeding from the lower bowel. It is commonly carried out when

  • Specimen culture

    Specimen cultures are tests to diagnose the cause of an infection, particularly if the symptoms are fever, diarrhoea, cough, and breathlessness. These tests involve placing specimens,

  • Sputum tests

    Sputum samples are used to diagnose active TB and to monitor the effectiveness of TB treatment. The sample is obtained by coughing up phlegm and spitting

  • Ultrasound

    Ultrasound of the abdomen is useful in investigating the cause of abdominal pain, swelling, and persistent fever. For most ultrasounds, the person having the procedure lies on

  • X-ray

    Chest X-ray is an extremely common procedure done to evaluate the lungs, heart, and chest wall. X-ray often help diagnose the cause of various symptoms, including persistent cough,

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

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.