Your lab results are your main tool to help measure your health and progress. They will also help you and your doctor set goals.
There are 2 tests that you should primarily know:
CD4/Tcell Count: T cells are your immune system cells that the HIV virus infects. As the number of HIV grows, the number of healthy T cells goes down. A normal T cell count is 500 to 1500 cells in a cubic millimeter of blood (a small drop). When your T cell count goes down below 200, you are at a much higher risk of catching an opportunistic infection.
Viral Load Count: This lab test measures the amount of HIV in a drop of blood. If your have fewer than 50 copies of HIV in your blood, you are said to be "undetectable".
There's a lot of talk about being "undetectable". Some people think of this as a measure of how well their treatment is working. It's an important goal. But it shouldn't be your only goal. You also have to think about your overall health and quality of life.
You're also going to have to think about side effects from each medication, how you're going to pay for them, and what your future treatment options are.