What Does Hiv Positive But Undetectable Mean

What Does Hiv Positive But Undetectable Mean – If you are not detected, you will still test positive for HIV. This is expected and does not mean that your treatment was not successful.

Each year, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation conducts more than 15,000 HIV tests. People from all over the Bay Area—in fact around the world—access our services to find out their HIV status. Only a small percentage of the tests we do come back positive, and we know how to provide people newly diagnosed with the support, resources and care to continue living well. However, we are confused when we learn that clients seek our HIV testing services when they are HIV positive and sometimes even being treated and taking HIV medication.

What Does Hiv Positive But Undetectable Mean

Because we have contact with every person who has tested positive at any of our locations, we are always asking why people are testing for HIV if they have been previously diagnosed.

Cd8+ T Cells In Hiv Control, Cure And Prevention

This happens for a variety of reasons: People may be tested with a partner they don’t know, they may have mental health problems, or they may need a diagnosis letter to access a service (such as a shelter). Sometimes this is because they are confused about what kind of information an HIV test will provide.

Now that we know that undetectable is the same as non-infectious (U=U), some people may have the misconception that if you go undetected, you will no longer test positive for HIV. They may believe that if they test HIV-negative on an HIV test, they will be able to show it to their sex partners as a way of “proving” that they are undetectable and incommunicable. Or they may think it is easier to tell a partner that they are HIV negative than to be undetectable and non-infectious.

If you are living with HIV and have an undetectable viral load, you will still test positive for HIV. However, if you are living with HIV, have been taking your daily HIV medication as directed, have a “sustaining” viral load, and have been undetectable for at least six months, you will not transmit HIV to a sex partner. You are not contagious. That’s what U=U means.

Since the beginning of the HIV epidemic, we have used antibody tests to test for HIV. (In the past, HIV testing was usually done first with an ELISA or screening test, which was confirmed by a western blot test that identified specific antibodies. Newer tests often combine antibody tests with antigen or protein tests which provide more sensitivity for early screening for infection.) The antibody test is the most affordable and accessible HIV test. This is the most common type of HIV test in testing facilities around the world because it provides results quickly on the spot.

What Is Hiv Undetectable?

Antibody tests do not detect HIV. Instead, they detect antibodies produced by the immune system in response to HIV infection.

Would you like to know more about the different types of HIV tests, how they work, and how early they detect HIV? Check out this easy-to-read guide from Avert or read this Q&A from the CDC. WHAT ARE ANTIBODY?

Our immune system develops antibodies in response to all kinds of pathogens. Every time you get sick or have an infection, your body builds up a defense system and creates antibodies to try to fight off the infection. If these antibodies work, some infections will clear up, but the antibodies never do. They will stay in your body, helping protect you from these same infections in the future.

In this way, antibodies allow our bodies to “remember” certain infectious agents – such as certain strains of the flu – and then respond more quickly to them if they are exposed to them again in the future. Once we develop antibodies to a virus (or in response to a vaccine), we may have those antibodies for life or for years.

Here’s Why You Test Positive For Hiv If You’re Undetectable

Unfortunately, HIV antibodies are generally not very helpful in fighting or preventing infection. However, once we develop HIV infection and develop HIV antibodies, these antibodies last for years.

The antibodies are still present in people living with HIV – even in people who have suppressed their viral load. This means that people living with HIV will still test positive for HIV on an HIV antibody test even if their viral load is undetectable. The virus may not be detected, but the antibodies are still present and detectable.

Keith Henry, MD, an HIV specialist at Hennepin County Medical Center explains that even if people living with HIV are cured – so they no longer have viral material in their bodies – many people who are cured will still test positive for HIV antibodies. Antibodies will be a kind of “historical marker” of previous HIV infection.

In addition to antibody tests, we also have HIV tests that detect viral RNA – not necessarily live virus, but part of the viral genetic material. This is called a nucleic acid test, and it can detect HIV infection very early. These tests are not used for screening as often as antibody tests (or antibody/antigen tests), because results take longer and the test is more expensive. Usually, an RNA test is used to confirm an HIV-positive diagnosis after a person has tested positive on an antibody test or to see if a person is responding well to treatment.

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Some of these virus detection tests can detect the virus at very low levels. Some research HIV RNA tests (called ultrasensitive tests) can measure the level of HIV RNA down to a single copy.

We usually say that someone is “undetectable” if they have a viral load of less than 20 copies/ml or 50 copies/ml. Research studies have defined “undetectable” as a viral load of less than 200 copies/ml.

So even if someone has a viral load of less than 50 copies/ml or 20 copies/ml, viral RNA will still be detectable with one of these virus detection tests.

“Detecting very small amounts of virus on any of these tests indicates that a person is not cured,” Henry said. “But it has no practical clinical significance when you are using an effective therapy based on our current understanding. By all clinical standards, if you’re under 50 copies, that’s all that matters. Having an HIV RNA level of less than 25, versus less than 50, for example, means nothing clinically in terms of current management or transmission risk assessment.”

A Timeline Of Hiv Symptoms: How Does It Progress?

If you are living with HIV and want to know if you are undetectable, the test that is right for you is called an HIV viral load test. Similar to the nucleic acid test to detect HIV infection, the HIV viral load test measures the number of copies of HIV in one milliliter of your blood. It is recommended that people living with HIV have an HIV viral load test generally every 3 to 6 months, in addition to other laboratory tests that measure your CD4 count and more.

The bottom line is that if you are living with HIV and have an undetectable viral load, you will still test positive for HIV if you do get tested. But this is expected and doesn’t mean that your treatment isn’t working or that you’re going undetected. As always, ask your HIV care provider if you have questions about which HIV test is right for you, or which type of test will give you the answers you need to keep yourself as healthy as possible.

The San Francisco AIDS Foundation offers a variety of free and confidential sexual health services including HIV and STI testing, relationships with HIV care, PrEP and more.

Joshua O’Neal is director of sexual health services at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and oversees the development and delivery of HIV, STIs, HCV, PrEP, health education, and other sexual health initiatives.

What A U=u Leader Thinks About The Cdc’s Updated Data On Hiv Risk

Folsom is here, so is MPX (monkey pox). Here are some ideas for reducing your risk and still enjoying your favorite kink & fetish festival in San Francisco.

Long before the news media alerted me to the threat of monkeypox, my community was grumbling about what was coming, wrote Charles Orgbon III.

In an extraordinary display of community support, staff and volunteers serve hundreds of community members exposed to monkeypox with the Jynneos vaccine. they were cured of HIV and they took a test and it was negative!

For patients who have been on long-term antiretroviral (ARV) therapy, is it possible that they have an undetectable viral load? What is this undetectable viral load, and does it mean that if the virus is undetectable, the patient is cured of HIV?

How Do We Define “undetectable” In Hiv Prevention?

“Viral load” refers to the amount of virus in the blood. It is measured by a simple blood test which also shows how well antiretroviral treatment is working to protect your immune system from other potential illnesses.

Undetectable viral load occurs in people living with HIV when the virus is present in such small amounts that it cannot be detected by a normal blood test. This is also called “viral suppression” by healthcare professionals.

Many people living with HIV can achieve undetectable viral loads on antiretroviral therapy for at least six months.

NOTE: Usually

How Do You Get Hiv?

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