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Case 3: Laboratory Monitoring after Initiating Antiretroviral Therapy

You answered:

B A follow-up HIV RNA value should first be checked 10 to 12 weeks after starting therapy.

This answer is incorrect. According to the DHHS antiretroviral therapy guidelines, patients should have an HIV RNA value checked 2 to 8 weeks (preferably 2 to 4 weeks) after starting a new antiretroviral therapy regimen, or after changing an antiretroviral regimen. Waiting 10 to 12 weeks before checking an HIV RNA value could result in a missed opportunity to detect early inadequate virologic response that may have occurred as a result of poor adherence, pre-existing drug resistance, or use of a regimen with inadequate potency.

Choose another answer:

A The CD4 cell count is the most important laboratory test to obtain at 1 month after starting antiretroviral therapy.
C A follow-up HIV RNA value should first be checked 2 to 8 weeks after starting therapy.
D A decrease in the patient's baseline HIV RNA value of 112,000 copies/ml to 55,000 copies/ml 4 weeks after starting therapy would indicate an excellent early response to antiretroviral therapy.

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