Facebook Pixel

When you go get a Complete Blood Count (CBC), will the White Blood Count be low enough

By November 4, 2009 - 9:29pm
Rate This

Will it be low enough to show if you have AIDS/HIV?

Add a Comment1 Comments

Dear chillintherain,

No, a WBC count is not a specific test used to diagnose AIDS in an individual. A low WBC count is defined as fewer than 3,500 white blood cells per microliter of blood. This is indicative of any viral infection affecting your bone marrow or a sign of an auto immune disorder (yes, surely if you have AIDS you will have a low wbc count BUT this is not a diagnostic test for AIDS).

Tests that are specific to diagnosing AIDS are the ELISA and Western Blot tests.

For years, the only available test for HIV was the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test that looked for antibodies to the virus in a sample of your blood. If this test was positive — meaning you had antibodies to HIV — the same test was repeated. If the repeat test was also positive for HIV antibodies, you'd then have another confirming blood test called the Western blot test, which checks for the presence of HIV proteins. The Western blot test was important because you may have non-HIV antibodies that cause a false-positive result on the ELISA test. Combining the two types of tests helped ensure that the results were accurate, and you'd receive a diagnosis of HIV only if all three tests were positive. The downside is that it can take up to two weeks to get the results of the ELISA and Western blot tests, a period of time that can take an emotional toll and that discouraged many people from returning to get their test results.

There are now rapid tests which give highly accurate information within as little as 20 minutes. These tests look for antibodies to the virus using a sample of your blood or fluids collected on a treated pad that's rubbed on your upper and lower gums. The oral test is almost as sensitive as the blood test and eliminates the need for drawing blood. A positive reaction on a rapid test requires a confirming blood test. And because the tests are relatively new and were originally approved for use only in certified laboratories, they may not be available everywhere.

I hope this answers your question.


November 5, 2009 - 6:36am
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

All user-generated information on this site is the opinion of its author only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. Members and guests are responsible for their own posts and the potential consequences of those posts detailed in our Terms of Service.



Get Email Updates

AIDS / HIV Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!