Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Risk of HIV treatment failure present even in those with low viral load

Date:
November 26, 2013
Source:
University of Montreal
Summary:
People with human immunodeficiency virus run a higher risk of virologic failure than previously thought, even when their number of RNA copies of the retrovirus per milliliter of blood is slightly above the detection threshold, according to a study.

People with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) run a higher risk of virologic failure than previously thought, even when their number of RNA copies of the retrovirus per millilitre of blood is slightly above the detection threshold, according to a study by Claudie Laprise at the University of Montreal's Department of Social and Preventative Medicine. Her findings were published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

The study was conducted in close collaboration with doctors from the Clinique mιdicale du Quartier Latin de Montrιal, based on data from the files of 1,860 people living with HIV and covering a period of 12 years. Nearly 94% of the patients were men.

Minimizing the presence of the retrovirus The prognosis for people with HIV has considerable improved since the advent of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in 1996. ART acts by reducing the presence of the retrovirus in the blood of infected people. This maintains the immune functions required to prevent the disease from progressing to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). From a clinical point of view, the viral load test measures the activity of HIV in the patient and the effectiveness of ART. The goal of treatment is to keep the viral load below the detection limit, which is about 50 copies of viral RNA/ml.

Reducing the risk of virologic failure Despite treatment, patients sometimes show persistent low viral load during medical follow-up, from 50 to 1,000 copies/ml, for a number of months. The higher the persistent viral loads, the higher the patients are at risk of developing virologic failure. "Virologic failure, defined in this study as a viral load above 1,000 copies/ml of viral RNA in the blood, is to be avoided, not least because it shows the progression of the disease," Laprise explained.

Her results confirm that the risk of virologic failure is a function of persistent viral load. Thus, a patient with a persistent viral load between 500 and 999 copies/ml after a six-month follow-up runs a five times higher risk of virologic failure compared to patients whose viral load is undetectable.

However, a persistent low viral load (50 to 199 copies/ml) doubles this risk as much as an "average" persistent viral load (200 to 499 copies/ml). "This result surprised us because we did not believe that a load as low as 50 to 199 copies/ml after 6 months could result in a significant risk of virologic failure," said Laprise.

According to her, this represents important clinical data: for now, there is still no consensus on the therapeutic way forward in the presence of persistent low viral load. Indeed, in such circumstances, doctors may decide to alter the patient's therapy or continue to observe the patient without changing the therapeutic approach. "To the extent that our results are confirmed by other studies, our findings could provide a new element in assessing the situation of people with HIV, because of the potential risk factors our data have uncovered," Laprise said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Montreal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. C. Laprise, A. de Pokomandy, J.-G. Baril, S. Dufresne, H. Trottier. Virologic Failure Following Persistent Low-level Viremia in a Cohort of HIV-Positive Patients: Results From 12 Years of Observation. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 2013; 57 (10): 1489 DOI: 10.1093/cid/cit529

Cite This Page:

University of Montreal. "Risk of HIV treatment failure present even in those with low viral load." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131126000537.htm>.
University of Montreal. (2013, November 26). Risk of HIV treatment failure present even in those with low viral load. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131126000537.htm
University of Montreal. "Risk of HIV treatment failure present even in those with low viral load." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131126000537.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) — The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) — President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins