Viral Load

WHAT IS VIRAL LOAD? The viral load test measures the amount of HIV in your blood. It is the preferred way to know if antiretroviral therapy (ART) is working. The test measures the number of HIV copies in one milliliter of blood. Viral load test… Read More

CD4 Cell Count

WHAT ARE CD4 CELLS? CD4 cells are white blood cells that play an important role in the immune system. The CD4 cell count gives an indication of the health of the immune system, which is the body’s natural defense system against pathogens, infections, and illnesses.… Read More

HIV Resistance Testing

WHAT IS HIV DRUG RESISTANCE? HIV medications work by preventing the virus from replicating (making copies of itself). When a particular strain of HIV is able to make copies of itself, even in the presence of a particular antiretroviral medicine (ARV), we say that it… Read More

Complete Blood Count (CBC)

COMPLETE BLOOD COUNT (CBC) The most common laboratory test is the complete blood count (CBC). The CBC is a group of tests that examine the cells that circulate in blood, including red blood cells (RBCs), white blood cells (WBCs), and platelets (PLTs). The CBC, along… Read More

Metabolic Panels

METABOLIC PANEL The metabolic panel is a group of tests that measures several substances in your blood. It is one of the most commonly ordered lab tests. The metabolic panel gives your healthcare provider important information about the current status of your body’s metabolism (hence… Read More

Blood Sugar and Fats

People with HIV have their blood sugar and blood fat levels tested more frequently because antiretroviral medications (ARVs) may cause abnormally high levels. This is especially true for one type of medication called protease inhibitors (PIs). For more information, read about lipodystrophy (body shape changes).… Read More

Normal Laboratory Values

IMPORTANT NOTES Each commercial laboratory has its own set of normal values, called Normal Range or Reference Range on your lab report. These values depend on the equipment or method used. Compare your results to the range shown on your lab report. Results that are… Read More