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The basics

NAM Thanks to all of the professionals and people with HIV who have helped
77a Tradescant Road with the development of this resource.
London SW8 1XJ
Thanks to the following organisations that have funded this leaflet.

CD4 and viral load


Phone: 020 3242 0820
Website: www.aidsmap.com NHS Pan-London HIV Prevention Programme and NHS South West Essex
E-mail: info@nam.org.uk
Charity number 1011220

This leaflet can be viewed in large format as a PDF.


Call NAM on 020 3242 0820. CD4
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CD4 HIV

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Second edition 2012
Due for review in 2014 CD4
Copyright ©NAM. CD4
If you need extra copies of this fact HIV
CD4
sheet, or would like to translate, adapt
or reproduce it, please contact us.

Notes Want to find out more?


Quick guide to test results For more information on this topic: Contact us by calling 020 3242 0820 or
l read NAM’s fact sheets ‘CD4 cell by sending an email to info@nam.org.uk
CD4 counts counts’ and ‘Viral load’
l Between 500 and 1200 = usual for people who don’t have HIV l read NAM’s leaflet in this series Has this resource been useful to you?
l Above 350 = HIV treatment isn’t usually recommended ‘Undetectable viral load’ Please let us know what you think by
l Below 350 = HIV treatment is recommended l read Terrence Higgins Trust’s booklet visiting our website at www.aidsmap.
l Below 200 = there is a higher risk of illnesses and infections, so HIV ‘Your treatment’, or com/feedback, phoning us or sending
treatment is recommended l speak to an adviser at THT Direct an email to info@nam.org.uk. Your
(phone: 0808 802 1221). feedback helps us to improve the services
Your doctor may give your CD4 results as a percentage we offer you.
l Above 29% = similar to a CD4 count of above 500 For more information about HIV
l Below 14% = similar to a CD4 count of below 200 You can get free fact sheets, booklets, You can contact us to find out more
email bulletins and a newsletter from about the scientific research and
Viral load our website at www.aidsmap.com/ information we have used to produce
l Between 100,000 and 1 million = high resources. You can get answers to this leaflet.
l Below 10,000 = for people with HIV not on treatment, this is low common questions at www.aidsmap.
l Below 50 = known as an ‘undetectable’ viral load. The aim of HIV treatment com/hiv-basics and find local services We recommend that you discuss
is to have an undetectable viral load. at www.aidsmap.com/e-atlas. the information in this leaflet with
a doctor or other health worker.
CD4 cells are the most important cells The CD4 count tells you how many Viral load measures how much HIV
1 in the immune system. Our immune
2 CD4 cells there are in a drop of blood.
3 there is in a drop of blood. You want
system protects us against infections The more there are, the better. to have as little HIV as possible.
and illness.
It’s important
for all people
with HIV to take
regular blood tests.
CD4 CD4
HIV
CD4

The two most


CD4
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important blood CD4
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HIV

tests are for CD4


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CD4

and viral load.­­­­

When the CD4 count is low, When the CD4 count is high, If your CD4 count has ­­­­The result of treatment should
4 the viral load is usually high. 5 the viral load is usually low. 6 dropped to 350 or below, 7 be the CD4 going up, and the
This situation is not good. This is much better. it’s recommended you viral load going right down.
Important points
start treatment.
l CD4 and viral load test
8 4 results give essential
information about the
effect HIV is having on
your body.

l The aim of HIV


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HIV
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