There are many treatment options available for people with HIV. What’s more, research shows that people who start HIV treatment early can live healthier lives than people who wait to start.
- The goal of these HIV treatments is to raise the healthy CD4+ T-cell count and lower the viral load and keep it low.
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Know Where You Stand
It’s important to know if your CD4+ T-cell count needs to be higher, or if your viral load needs to be lower. Regular blood tests and advice from your healthcare provider can help you figure out where you stand.
CD4+ T-cell count
If you have HIV and your CD4+ T-cell count is more than 500 cells (per cubic millimeter of blood), it’s in the normal range.
If it’s less than 200 cells (per cubic millimeter of blood), you are diagnosed as having AIDS.
Source: US Department of Health and Human Services. https://www.hiv.gov.
Your viral load, or how much HIV virus is in your blood, should be as low as possible.
If it’s under 50 (copies per cubic millimeter of blood), you may be “undetectable.“ But you have to stay on treatment to keep your viral load from going back up.
Undetectable doesn’t mean cured.
You still need to keep taking your medicine, go for your regular visits with your healthcare provider, and follow safe sex practices and avoid needle sharing.