Print this page    •   Back to Web version of article

Commentary & Opinion

JAMA Internal Medicine Editorial Questions the Necessity of CD4 Tests in Virally Supressed Patients

August 28, 2013

Today we have highly effective antiretroviral treatment for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and a much better marker of how our patients are doing: the HIV viral load. Patients with undetectable virus in their blood are likely to do well as long as they keep taking their medication. The first sign of trouble is an elevated viral load. ... So, if CD4 counts are no longer driving treatment decisions in stable patients who are virally suppressed while receiving antiretroviral treatment, why do we still order these tests? Because it is our habit, and our patients expect it. Although ordering the test likely causes little harm to our patients (unnecessary anxiety if there is a false-negative drop in the count), the tests are expensive (Dr. Mitchell H. Katz, JAMA Internal Medicine, 8/26).

Back to other news for August 2013


This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.




This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report. You can find this article online by typing this address into your Web browser:
http://www.thebodypro.com/content/72558/jama-internal-medicine-editorial-questions-the-nec.html

General Disclaimer: The Body PRO is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. The information provided through The Body PRO should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, consult your health care provider.