Expansion of Viral Load Testing and the Potential Impact on Human Immunodeficiency Virus Drug Resistance

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Increasing the volume, strengthening the quality, and proactively using data of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) load testing are pivotal to limiting the threat of HIV drug resistance (HIVDR) accumulation,and allow for optimal case-based HIVDR surveillance. Triangulation of viral load (VL) and HIVDR testing data could be pursued to answer key questions and translate data and results for program and public policy. Identification of virologic failure and early management mitigates the greater risk of HIVDR. Routine VL monitoring and evaluation systems are necessary, and countries should consider reviewing system requirements, structural needs, and procedural and technical factors for the entire VL cascade, with special emphasis on post-test result use.

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