Question | Discussion | References | CME Credit

Case 3: Laboratory Monitoring after Initiating Antiretroviral Therapy

You answered:

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.

This answer is incorrect. The first post-treatment HIV RNA value should indicate a more substantial decrease in the HIV RNA level (at least a 1.0 log decrease compared with baseline). This poor response would indicate a potential problem, including poor adherence, pre-existing drug resistance, or use of a regimen with inadequate potency.

A The CD4 cell count is the most important laboratory test to obtain at 1 month after starting antiretroviral therapy.
B A follow-up HIV RNA value should first be checked 10 to 12 weeks after starting therapy.
C A follow-up HIV RNA value should first be checked 2 to 8 weeks after starting therapy.

[Back to Case 3 Question | Go to Correct Answer]