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« The difference between HIV viral load and CD4 tests | Main | CNN raises awareness for viral load testing »

Three reasons viral load monitoring matters

  1. Patients. First and foremost, viral load monitoring (VLM) helps doctors manage HIV better, thus increasing the patients’ length and quality of life.  This not only makes their lives better, but that of their families as well. It also helps the community by keeping them productive and working longer.
  2. Budgets. VLM helps makes the supply of ARVs go further.  Many nations have a limited supply of ARVs, so ensuring none of the drugs are wasted is a top priority. VLM is the most accurate way to detect treatment failure, and as such gives the best indication of when to stop using medication that is no longer working for a patient. It also helps determine the best time to begin treatment, so it isn’t initiated earlier than necessary.
  3. Society. Stemming the spread of ARV resistance.  When treatment stops being effective and a patient continues taking the same ARVs, HIV can become resistant to the drugs. And if the patient passes on their infection, their resistant strain goes with it. With VLM to help detect treatment failure, the development of drug resistance can be minimized and treatment options for patients can be kept open.

Those are my top three. If you have other reasons, please feel free to share your view with a comment.

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