The largest clinical trial of anti-retroviral therapy (ART) for people with HIV infection ever run in Africa has found that regular laboratory tests offer little additional clinical benefit to populations when compared to careful clinical monitoring.
The results suggest that many more people with HIV in Africa could be treated for the same amount of money as is currently spent if lab tests are not routinely used to monitor the effects of ART.
The evidence from the Development of Anti-Retroviral Therapy in Africa (DART) clinical trial will be of value to low income or resource poor countries that are prioritising ART access over investment in expensive laboratory facilities.
The DART trial aimed to find out whether the lab-based strategies used to deliver ART to people with HIV infection in resource rich countries were essential in Africa, where around 4 million people still need ART urgently and resources are limited...
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