HIV viral load



Health Care

This examination is an aid to prognosis and especially the monitoring of anti-HIV therapy.


The virus is either within the cell or in the plasma as viral particles.

The measurement of the plasma viral RNA corresponds to the amount of free virus particles in plasma.

HIV viral load

Sampling 10 ml of citrated blood tube or EDTA (ethylene diamino tetraacetic acid).

The assay is done by viral culture dilution or by molecular biology technique.


They are given in RNA copies or copies / mL.

When the concentration is less than 10,000 replications, the load is low.

However, if rate above 10 000, antiretroviral treatment is indicated.

The viral RNA is detectable from the 10th day of development.



Practical advice:

Wear gloves to collect the sample.

First line, if contamination is suspected, the dosage of the P24 antigen which must be requested before the viral load.

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