HIV-1 Viral Load Changes

As of September 5th 2023, Garcia Laboratory moved to a more sensitive HIV-1 Viral Load assay. The assay uses the same RT-PCR technology, however has an improved lower limit of quantitation (LLoQ) of 20 copies/mL whereas the previous assay was 40 copies/mL.

The shift from a precious HIV viral load test result being negative with a LLoQ of 40 copies/mL to now being positive with an assay having a LLoQ of 20 copies/mL is likely due to the improved sensitivity and precision of the newer assay.

A lower LLoQ signifies that the test can measure smaller amounts of HIV-1 RNA more reliably. The adoption of an assay with a LLoQ of 20 copies/mL enhances the precision off HIV viral load measurement, enabling the identification and quantification of lower viral loads that might have been previously missed or underestimated with an assay having a higher LLoQ of 40 copies/mL.