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Open Virol J. 2008;2:69-73. doi: 10.2174/1874357900802010069. Epub 2008 Oct 16.

Supersensitive Viral Load Assay in Predicting CD4-Guided Treatment Failure.

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The HIV Netherlands Australia Thailand Research Collaboration (HIV-NAT), Bangkok, Thailand.


In HIV patients who discontinue highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), the degree of HIV RNA suppression at the time of treatment interruption may predict success of re-treatment after the interruption (STI). A case-control substudy of the Staccato trial in Thailand included CD4-guided STI subjects with HIV RNA > 50 copies /ml (virological failure cases, n=11) and HIV RNA < 50 copies/ml (controls, n=22) after 12-24 weeks of HAART re-treatment following a median of 2 STI cycles. Controls were matched for age, gender and pre-ART CD4 count. HIV RNA with 5 copies/ml detection limit was determined on pre-virological failure samples. HIV RNA increased in cases compared to controls with each successive STI cycle (p-trend across time-points 0.004). The last HIV RNA below 50 copies/ml was significantly higher among cases compared to controls (p=.004). Measuring HIV RNA below 50 copies/ml may be useful in predicting virological failure to STI.

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