Targeted HIV Therapy Without Genotyping

By Clinical Informatics News Staff

November 26, 2013 | A new computational model released by the HIV Resistance Response Database Initiative (RDI) tailors HIV drug cocktails to individual patients, without the need to perform the expensive genotyping used in resource-rich settings to identify HIV strains. The new model, which is intended to direct changes in drug therapy and not first-line interventions, takes into account a patient's viral load before intervention, treatment history, and viral load after intervention, measurements more appropriate for resource-limited environments. Drawing on a database of therapy changes in HIV case histories, the model then recommends the most promising course of action. In a large test set of retroactive cases, this model, called HIV-TRePS, chose the best intervention more frequently than a model based on genotyping. The program, which is intended for research purposes only, is freely available at, and if further validated and refined, could be used to guide more effective therapies for HIV while controlling drug costs at financially strained clinics. The development of HIV-TRePS resulted in a paper published yesterday in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, with key contributions from scientists at the Desmond Tutu HIV Centre at the University of Capetown.


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