CD4 AND VIRAL LOAD
February 21st, 2010
CD4 cells are essential defensive components of the human immune system.
The viral load is a figure representing the quantity of the virus present in the blood.
The higher the viral load, the more CD4 cells the virus destroys and the more vulnerable the body is to infection.
HIV treatments aim to reduce viral load to a minimum, hopefully allowing the CD4 cells to return to a level sufficient to allow the body to defend itself against infection.
These two measurements (viral load and CD4 count) cannot be used in isolation; doctors use the two together to follow the course of the HIV infection and decide on treatment.