Q and A


Can my viral load and CD4 count estimate when I became positive?

I am 51 years old,I tested HIV 2 positive in October 2022, with CD4 of 864 and Viral load of 84. My ex whom I was active with 7 months back tested negative on rapid and current boyfriend tested negative through lab tests and rapid. I was active with current boyfriend on 2nd week July 2022 and had STI 2 days later, got treatment. I was shattered but started ARVs a week later, I still don’t know where I got this from, can the viral load and CD4 count detect the exact date of infection? It is really consuming me cause though trying to be strong.


Hi, how are you doing?

Unfortunately viral load and CD4 count are not able to predict when you became HIV positive.

Did you start ARVs in July or in October when you were diagnosed?

As you have an excellent CD4 count it suggests that this is a more recent transmission. HIV can also be transmitted via needles e.g., injuries or drugs. Do either of these apply to you?

Your viral load in October was suppressed. If you started treatment in July this would make sense as viral load can be suppressed quickly. Do you have any previous test results?



  1. Josh Peasegood

    Hi Norah, it is good to hear that you are trying. I am sorry to hear about your friend. HIV isn’t transmitted through skin unless you had deep cuts on your hands when you were in contact with blood. Please follow this link for more information about transmission: https://i-base.info/qa/factsheets/hiv-transmission-and-testing

  2. Norah

    Hi Josh,

    Am trying, but it is difficult,

    Thank you Josh for you prompt response and support,I do annual routine tests so in October that was my first discovery that am hiv+, a year earlier I was negative with my routine test. I started ArV a week later which was in October I got the above results, they were the first after testing positive.

    With regards to an exposure of needles or injuries. My female friend died in July after being diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer, she had an open wounds. At some stage just 2 weeks before she past on in July, I assisted with her dressing her wounds without gloves. Her husband died 10yrs back, he was Hiv positive also died from throat cancer. She did not disclose her status to me, could it be I got infected during that time I was assisting with dressing her?

    Regards NN


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