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How do you know if you are HIV undetectable?

You know you’re undetectable when you actually have blood drawn. Back in the day, we used to say undetectable was less than 200 copies. Then it got to the science got better where the tests could detect less than 40 copies.

And, nowadays, the best test is the ultrasensitive viral load which actually detects as few as 20 copies. Sometimes the wording around HIV viral load can be very confusing or vary according to different clinics or different lab tests.

So if you’re less than 200, whether that be 40 or 20, you’re good.

Dr. David Malebranche, MD, MPH, a clinician-researcher specializing in HIV, gives the lowdown on all things HIV care and treatment in the latest installment of the #AskTheHIVDoc video series.


#AskTheHIVDoc is a video series from Greater Than HIV featuring top HIV doctors providing answers to commonly-asked questions about HIV prevention, testing and treatment.

This information is shared for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. The views expressed are those of the featured medical professional and reflect information available to that professional at time of filming. Always consult a health care provider for any personal health decision.

While we make every effort to keep the medical information on our website updated, we cannot guarantee that the information reflects the most up-to-date research. Also, please note the views expressed by individuals who appear in Greater Than HIV videos and other content are their own and are not made on behalf of any groups/organizations/associations.