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How does population viral load vary with the evolution of a large HIV epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa?

Abu-Raddad, Laith J.a,b,c; Awad, Susanne F.a

doi: 10.1097/QAD.0000000000000211
Research Letter

Using mathematical modelling, we describe the temporal evolution of population HIV-1 viral load in Tanzania throughout the epidemic. Population log10 viral load was found to be stable and not sensitive to epidemic dynamics. However, even modest increases in antiretroviral therapy (ART) coverage were reflected as appreciable reductions in population log10 viral load. As ART coverage expands in sub-Saharan Africa, population log10 viral load will increasingly become a powerful proxy for monitoring ART implementation and HIV incidence trends.

aInfectious Disease Epidemiology Group, Weill Cornell Medical College - Qatar, Cornell University, Qatar Foundation - Education City, Doha, Qatar

bDepartment of Healthcare Policy and Research, Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University, New York, New York

cVaccine and Infectious Disease Division, Cancer Research Centre, Seattle, Washington, USA.

Correspondence to Dr Laith J. Abu-Raddad, Infectious Disease Epidemiology Group, Weill Cornell Medical College – Qatar, Qatar Foundation – Education City, P.O. Box 24144, Doha, Qatar. Tel: +974 4492 8321; fax: +974 4492 8333; e-mail: lja2002@qatar-med.cornell.edu

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Received October 31, 2013

Accepted January 8, 2014

© 2014 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.