Heat-denatured p24 Antigen Tests Can Cut Cost of HIV Progression Monitoring
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the University of Zurich, Switzerland, have identified a test for monitoring the progression of HIV in the early stages of the disease that is less expensive than current tests used to monitor the progression of HIV. The test, called HIV-1 protein 24 (p24) antigen, predicts disease progression as well as CD4 lymphocyte count and HIV-1 RNA viral load, the measurements currently used to determine when patients should start antiviral drug therapy to prevent AIDS. The study, “Heat-Denatured Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Protein 24 Antigen: Prognostic Value in Adults with Early-Stage Disease,” appears in the Oct. 15 issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases.
Timothy R. Sterling, MD, a study co-author and assistant professor of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health said, “The test could be used to determine when to initiate anti-retroviral therapy in HIV-infected persons. And because it costs much less than both CD4 lymphocyte count and HIV-1 RNA viral load, the heat-denatured p24 antigen test could be of particular benefit in developing countries, where the burden of HIV infection is great.”
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