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Pooled HIV-1 Viral Load Testing Using Dried Blood Spots to Reduce the Cost of Monitoring Antiretroviral Treatment in a Resource-Limited Setting

Pannus, Pieter ; Fajardo, Emmanuel ; Metcalf, Carol ; Coulborn, Rebecca M. ; Duran, Laura T. ; Bygrave, Helen ; Ellman, Tom ; Garone, Daniela ; Murowa, Michael ; Mwenda, Reuben ; Reid, Tony ; Preiser, Wolfgang (2013-10)

Please cite as follows:

Pannus, P. et al. 2013. Pooled HIV-1 viral load testing using dried blood spots to reduce the cost of monitoring antiretroviral treatment in a resource-limited setting. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr, 64(2):134-137, doi: 10.1097/QAI.0b013e3182a61e63.

The original publication is available at


Rollout of routine HIV-1 viral load monitoring is hampered by high costs and logistical difficulties associated with sample collection and transport. New strategies are needed to overcome these constraints. Dried blood spots from finger pricks have been shown to be more practical than the use of plasma specimens, and pooling strategies using plasma specimens have been demonstrated to be an efficient method to reduce costs. This study found that combination of finger-prick dried blood spots and a pooling strategy is a feasible and efficient option to reduce costs, while maintaining accuracy in the context of a district hospital in Malawi.

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