Author(s): Bonner K, Mezochow A, Roberts T, Ford N, Cohn J
Abstract Share this page
Abstract OBJECTIVE: Viral load monitoring has been proposed as a tool to reinforce adherence, but outcomes have never been systematically assessed. DESIGN: A meta-analysis was conducted to systematically analyze the research on viral load monitoring as a tool to reinforce adherence. Viremic resuppression is defined here as a decrease in viral load beneath a particular threshold following viral load levels that have been elevated despite antiretroviral treatment. METHODS: Six databases were searched for studies published up to November 2012, which reported the use of viral load monitoring as a tool to identify patients in need of adherence support. Three conference abstract sites were reviewed for studies reported in the last 2 years. Randomized and quasi-randomized trials and observational studies, were eligible. No language or geographical restrictions were applied. RESULTS: Six retrospective and 2 prospective observational studies reported data from 8 countries: South Africa, the United States, Thailand, Mali, Burkina Faso, Swaziland, India, and France. Five studies reported on viremic resuppression, with a pooled estimate of 70.5\% (95\% confidence interval: 56.6\% to 84.4\%) resuppressed. The remaining 3 studies all reported declines in mean viral load. Delayed onset of routine viral load monitoring was associated with the emergence of drug resistance. CONCLUSIONS: The clear trend of resuppression, following viral load testing and adherence support, demonstrates the utility of viral load as a tool to identify patients in need of enhanced adherence support.
This article was published in J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology