Share this article on:

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.

Supplemental Digital Content is available in the text

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:

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Website (

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivitives 3.0 License, where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially.

Received October 31, 2013

Accepted January 8, 2014

© 2014 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.