via Deborah Baron
IRMA Steering Committee Member

The Journal of the International AIDS Society published an article on a recent study testing a formula to better predict ARV treatment failure and possible drug resistance in the absence of viral load testing. According to a New York Times article on the study, “Scientists from Makerere University’s hospital in Kampala, Uganda, along with American and Belgian scientists, have developed a formula, based on close questioning of patients, for predicting which ones are most likely to have treatment failure.”

The researches then compared their formula with the existing WHO guidelines, which relies on clinical and immunological criteria to identify treatment failure. They concluded that although “the WHO guidelines are used as a standard across many RLS [resource-limited setting, i]t is our view that this standard of care needs to be improved to reduce the late detection of viral failure and to minimize unnecessary switching of patients to second-line ART.”

This formula could help provide useful insight to the ARV-based prevention research field, as it prepares for possible scenarios and challenges (if and when a product proves effective) around scaling up ARV-based prevention.

Check it out “Development and evaluation of a clinical algorithm to monitor patients on antiretrovirals in resource-limited settings using adherence, clinical and CD4 cell count criteria.

You can also link to the New York Times article on this study, “AIDS: Questions Help Find AIDS Patients Who Are Vulnerable to Drug Resistance