An elevated human T cell lymphotropic virus 1 (HTLV)-1 proviral load (PVL) is the main risk factor for developing HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP) in HTLV-1 infected subjects, and a high cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) PVL ratio may be diagnostic of the condition. However, the standard method for quantification of HTLV-1 PVL-real-time PCR-has multiple limitations, including increased inter-assay variability in compartments with low cell numbers, such as CSF. Therefore, in this study, we evaluated a novel technique for HTVL-1 PVL quantification, digital droplet PCR (ddPCR). In ddPCR, PCR samples are partitioned into thousands of nanoliter-sized droplets, amplified on a thermocycler, and queried for fluorescent signal. Due to the high number of independent events (droplets), Poisson algorithms are used to determine absolute copy numbers independently of a standard curve, which enables highly precise quantitation. This assay has low intra-assay variability allowing for reliable PVL measurement in PBMC and CSF compartments of both asymptomatic carriers (AC) and HAM/TSP patients. It is also useful for HTLV-1-related clinical applications, such as longitudinal monitoring of PVL and identification of viral mutations within the region targeted by the primers and probe.