n Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine - Laboratory monitoring of HIV : laboratory

Volume 3, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1608-9693
  • E-ISSN: 2078-6751



The development of new molecular techniques has provided clinicians with powerful tools to enable them to manage their patients more effectively. In particular, the development of technologies to measure viral load has assisted clinicians in making decisions regarding initiation of therapy and in monitoring response to therapy, and has facilitated more accurate prognosis in individual patients. The measurement of the viral load is expressed as HIV-1 RNA copies per millilitre of plasma. In previous years CD4 lymphocyte counts were considered to be the best predictors of disease progression and were extensively used as surrogate markers in clinical drug trials. Recent data have shown that viral load estimations are an additional marker of clinical outcome.

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