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WATCH: How To Understand Your HIV Lab Tests

WATCH: How To Understand Your HIV Lab Tests


On this episode of Aaron Laxton's My HIV Journey, he talks about his own blood tests every 3 to 6 months to see how well he's respond to the HIV treatment and what's in store for you.

There are several lab tests that someone with HIV may have to go through in order to keep their health in check. The first test that you get accustomed to is checking  your CD4 count, which is the amount of white blood cells in your immune system that fight infection. CD4 cells are also known as T-cells. Normal count ranges between 500 to 1500 for a person. With untreated HIV infections, CD4 counts can drop to zero.  Anytime a count goes below 200, you are at an increased risk for AIDS-related infection or cancer.

A viral load test is used to check the amount of HIV in your blood, and make sure the treatment is working. A CBC test, or complete blood count, measures red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets to determine causes of fatigue, weakness, infection or bruising. Watch the video below to see Aaron briefly explain these tests, what they measure, and what you need to know.

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