-Taking A Blood Sample
-In the Laboratory
-How Long Does It Take
Following a consultation between the doctor and the person considering a viral load test, a decision is made to measure the viral load.
It may be the first viral load measurement test taken by the HIV positive person or it may be a repeat test as part of an ongoing monitoring and HIV management plan. For example, regular testing to evaluate how well anti-HIV therapies are working is one way that HIV is monitored.
The doctor takes a small sample of blood, around 5mL. The blood will then be collected into in a special tube, which contains chemicals to preserve the sample and separate the plasma from the whole blood cells. The sample is refrigerated until the laboratory is ready to run the test.
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