Q and A

Question

Will I always test HIV positive even with undetectable viral load?

If I am undetectable and I take a common HIV test, will the result be positive or negative?

Answer

Thanks for getting in touch.

Even when someones viral load is undetectable, they will always test positive for HIV.

This is because the HIV test  looks for whether your immune system has reacted to HIV. Even if a cure for HIV is discovered, this immune test will still be positive.

Viral load looks directly for the virus. Having an undetectable viral load on treatment is very good. It means that so long as you keep taking your meds you will net get drug resistance.

It also means that your partners are protected from HIV, even if you do not use a condom.

14 comments

  1. Simon Collins

    Hi Lilian, once you are HIV positive, all HIV tests should continue to be positive, even when you are on treatment. If you ever get a negative result, this is likely to be a lab error. Also, if you are or become pregnant it is still very important to take your meds. Missing one dose might be okay occaissionally, but really you want to be good at not missing doses.

  2. Lilian

    I just wnt to know that it is possible for me to test negative at clinic if I am on ART. Also what are the risk if I am pregnancy and I skip my meds?

  3. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Liz,

    We don’t have resources to answer more questions on HIV risks and HIV testing. But all FAQs are answered through this link http://i-base.info/qa/11844

  4. Liz

    I tested Positive on the first Rapid test and Negative on the Second test.Was adviced by the College nurse to go for ELISA at the hospital and the results came back negative.I went again to test after four months and the same thing happened,Firstly rapid test Positive then Second test negative.Went again to the Hospital for Elisa and to check my Viral load and the Elisa results were negative again and My Viral load was lower than Detectable Load,I am now confused and don’t know what exactly my status is.Does this mean I am HIV positive or Negative?

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