Indan Journal of Medical Research Indan Journal of Medical Research Indan Journal of Medical Research Indan Journal of Medical Research
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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 134  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 823-834

Low-cost assays for monitoring HIV infected individuals in resource-limited settings


1 YRG Centre for AIDS Research & Education, Chennai, India
2 YRG Centre for AIDS Research & Education, Chennai, India; Division of Infectious Diseases, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, USA
3 Brown University, RI, Providence, USA

Correspondence Address:
Pachamuthu Balakrishnan
YRG Centre for AIDS Research & Education, Voluntary Health Services, Taramani, Chennai 600 113, India

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0971-5916.92628

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Use of a combination of CD4 counts and HIV viral load testing in the management of antiretroviral therapy (ART) provides higher prognostic estimation of the risk of disease progression than does the use of either test alone. The standard methods to monitor HIV infection are flow cytometry based for CD4+ T cell count and molecular assays to quantify plasma viral load of HIV. Commercial assays have been routinely used in developed countries to monitor ART. However, these assays require expensive equipment and reagents, well trained operators, and established laboratory infrastructure. These requirements restrict their use in resource-limited settings where people are most afflicted with the HIV-1 epidemic. With the advent of low-cost and/or low-tech alternatives, the possibility of implementing CD4 count and viral load testing in the management of ART in resource-limited settings is increasing. However, an appropriate validation should have been done before putting them to use for patient testing.


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