Risk Charts to Guide Targeted HIV-1 Viral Load Monitoring of ART: Development and Validation in Patients From Resource-Limited Settings
Jul 7 2015
BACKGROUND: HIV-1 RNA viral load (VL) testing is recommended to monitor antiretroviral therapy (ART) but not available in many resource-limited settings. We developed and validated CD4-based risk charts to guide targeted VL testing.
METHODS: We modeled the probability of virologic failure up to 5 years of ART based on current and baseline CD4 counts, developed decision rules for targeted VL testing of 10%, 20% or 40% of patients in seven cohorts of patients starting ART in South Africa, and plotted cut-offs for VL testing on colour-coded risk charts. We assessed the accuracy of risk chart-guided VL testing to detect virologic failure in validation cohorts from South Africa, Zambia and the Asia-Pacific.
FINDINGS: 31,450 adult patients were included in the derivation and 25,294 patients in the validation cohorts. Positive predictive values increased with the percentage of patients tested: from 79% (10% tested) to 98% (40% tested) in the South African, from 64% to 93% in the Zambian and from 73% to 96% in the Asia-Pacific cohorts. Corresponding increases in sensitivity were from 35% to 68% in South Africa, from 55% to 82% in Zambia and from 37% to 71% in Asia-Pacific. The area under the receiver-operating curve increased from 0.75 to 0.91 in South Africa, from 0.76 to 0.91 in Zambia and from 0.77 to 0.92 in Asia Pacific.
INTERPRETATION: CD4-based risk charts with optimal cut-offs for targeted VL testing may be useful to monitor ART in settings where VL capacity is limited.