Baseline HIV RNA and mortality after the initiaton of HARRT: Exploring the mechanism that explains the association

Before triple-drug antiretroviral therapy was developed to treat HIV, certain levels of HIV ribonucleic acid (RNA) in the blood were strongly associated with progression of the disease. However, there has been a great deal of uncertainty about the clinical relevance of HIV RNA levels since the therapy was introduced. Recent studies have produced conflicting results about the association of HIV RNA levels with survival or death for individuals with HIV. But these studies did not assess patient adherence to triple-therapy treatment. Dr. Evan Wood is using data from the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS Drug Treatment Program to research the association between HIV RNA levels and survival after beginning triple-drug antiretroviral therapy. He is also investigating the relationship between HIV RNA levels and factors such as non-compliance with triple therapy treatment. The findings could be used to adapt provincial guidelines for HIV/AIDS treatment.