Being Alive 1995 Apr 5: 3
In the years to come, the viral load tests (bDNA and PCR)
will become mainstays of HIV treatment. These tests will help
us to determine when an individual should start or change
antivirals. The tests show their results in terms of the
number of copies of HIV detected in a given amount of blood.
We are beginning to understand what, in general, these test
If the number of viral copies is less than 10,000, there is
probably nothing that needs to be done. With a result of
between 10,000 to 20,000, an individual should review his/her
options. If ther are 20,000 to 100,000 copies, it is time to
do something (get on an antiviral, begin OI prophylaxis). And
if over 100,000 copies are detected, aggressive treatment
should be pursued.
So now we have another set of numbers to work with and deal
with. And our understanding of viral load results will be
refined as we learn more. Most studies are now using the PCR
or bDNA testing as part of their protocol, and the data
coming out of these studies will contribute to our overall
understanding of viral load testing.