Q and A

Question

My viral load is zero, does this mean I’m negative?

I was tested positive 1 year back with a CD4 count of 310. After 3 months the CD4 went up to 540 and now after exactly a year it is 640.

I never got a viral load test before i started my treatment in the beginning but when i got a test now a year after medication the test results say Zero count. Is this possible? Or can it be due to an error in the test? How accurate can these results be?

If the count of 0 viral load is possible is there any chance that i could actually be HIV negative?

Answer

Thanks for getting in touch.

Viral loads aren’t usually given as a zero, but it is common to be “undetectable”. This is a good thing and it is the main goal of HIV treatment (ART).

Do you have a copy of the viral load test?

Might they have said that its simply undetectable?

Having an undetectable of zero viral load does not mean you are HIV negative. If you were to do another HIV antibody test it would come back as being positive.

Given that your CD4 count was 310 when you were diagnosed, I’d say that its very unlikely that you’re HIV negative. It is much more likely that the treatment is working well and this has increased it to 640.

2 comments

  1. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Simmy,
    Thanks, this is a lovely story. Is your friend taking HIV treatment (ART) and has an undetectable viral load? If so, the simple answer is it’s very safe. The precaution for having sex is to make sure she continues to take ART. Please see this link for info about Undetectable = Untransmittable.

  2. Simmy

    My friend is HIV +VE since 4 yrs and is on ART.She is 38 yrs old . A person who is negative wants to marry her despite knowing her condition. How safe is it for them to marry and what all precautions they should take…

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