A new test, that rapidly and accurately monitors the amount of HIV virus in a patient's bloodstream, might help determine progress and appropriate treatment of HIV disease, according to a recent report from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

The branched DNA assay for HIV-1 infection test, currently available only for research use, measures the amount of RNA, the genetic material of HIV, in blood-virus particles. This "viral burden" test might more quickly determine the effectiveness of experimental HIV therapies, as well as measure the progress of the disease, NIAID researchers stated.

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