Laboratory Testing for Initial Assessment and Monitoring of People with HIV Receiving Antiretroviral Therapy
Several laboratory tests are important for initial evaluation of people with HIV upon entry into care. Some tests should be performed before and after initiation or modification of antiretroviral therapy (ART) to assess the virologic and immunologic efficacy of ART and to monitor for laboratory abnormalities that may be associated with antiretroviral (ARV) drugs. Table 3 below outlines recommendations from the Panel on Antiretroviral Guidelines for Adults and Adolescents on the frequency of testing. As noted in the table, some tests may be repeated more frequently if clinically indicated.
Two surrogate markers are used to monitor people with HIV: plasma HIV RNA (viral load) to assess level of HIV viremia and CD4+ T lymphocyte cell count (or CD4 count) to assess immune function. Standard (reverse transcriptase and protease) genotypic drug-resistance testing should be used to guide selection of an ARV regimen; if transmitted integrase strand transfer inhibitor (INSTI) resistance is a concern or for people who acquired HIV after taking long-acting cabotegravir as pre-exposure prophylaxis, testing also should include the integrase gene (see Drug-Resistance Testing). For guidance on the choice of ARV regimens before drug-resistance testing results become available, clinicians should consult the What to Start section. A viral tropism assay should be performed before initiation of a CCR5 antagonist or at the time of virologic failure that occurs while a patient is receiving a CCR5 antagonist. HLA-B*5701 testing should be performed before initiation of abacavir (ABC) to reduce the risk of hypersensitivity reaction, and HLA-B*5701-positive patients should not be prescribed ABC. Patients should be screened for hepatitis B and hepatitis C virus infections before initiating ART and, if indicated, periodically after ART initiation, because treatment of these coinfections may affect the choice of ART and likelihood of drug-induced hepatotoxicity. The rationale for and utility of some of these laboratory tests are discussed in the corresponding sections of the guidelines.
Table 3. Laboratory Testing Schedule for Monitoring People with HIV Before and After Initiation of Antiretroviral Therapya
|Table 3. Laboratory Testing Schedule for Monitoring People with HIV Before and After Initiation of Antiretroviral Therapya|
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