Blood Tests Before Starting Or Changing HIV Treatment

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Examinations of blood before starting or changing HIV treatment

Key Points

  • Before choosing a treatment, your blood should be checked for resistance to different medications.
  • A test of viral load a month after starting new anti-HIV drugs, it provides important information about your response to treatment.

Before start taking treatment for HIV, or if you need to switch to a new combination, you must have a number of blood tests.

To help ensure that you start with an effective combination of anti-HIV drugs, you should have a blood test to see if your HIV has resistance to any antiretroviral medicine. This is because it is possible that an HIV strain that has already developed resistance to some drugs is passed on to someone who has not taken these drugs.

Your clinic will also do a genetic test (called HLA-B * 5701) to see if you are more likely to develop an allergic reaction (hypersensitivity) to the anti-HIV drug. abacavir (Ziagenalso in the combined pills Kivexa e Trizivir).).

Examinations of blood before starting or changing HIV treatment

Your clinic will also test for hepatitis B and C, and will test for your blood sugar as well as your health. liver and the kidneys. The results of these tests will help you and your doctor decide the best treatment for you and when you should start.

The viral load and os tests of CD4 will tell you about the health of your immune system and whether your treatment is working effectively.

When you start or change a combination of medications, a viral load test will be performed in the first month to see if the treatment is working. After that, the test is usually performed every three to six months, although it may be more frequent to start less often when you are stable on treatment and doing well.

If you need to change treatment antiretroviral (against HIV) because your viral load becomes detectable again, your choice of new drugs should be guided by another resistance test at this stage to see which drugs will work for you.

If you need to change treatment because your current HIV treatment is not controlling your viral load, it is important that you do so in a timely manner to reduce the risk of resistance. How quickly you need to do this will depend on which anti-HIV drugs you are taking; Your healthcare team will discuss this with you.

Even if you have multiple drug resistance, the variety of anti-HIV drugs available now means there are still options for you. An Undetectable viral load It's a realistic goal for almost everyone, including people who have taken many different treatments in the past and have drug-resistant viruses.

And In A Way, That's All I Say For Life With HIV

Test yourself

Once on HIV treatment, you will continue to have tests to measure liver and kidney function, and fat levels (cholesterol) and blood sugar to assess any effects of medicinal products on these systems. Some of them are done every time you attend and a few times a year.

In some situations, your doctor may start or change your treatment before the results of all tests are known. If this is the case, your doctor should discuss this with you. You should still receive the results of all your tests when they become available.


Your HIV care will also involve several other routine tests. These will monitor your overall health to see if your treatment is causing any side effects.

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