New Test Is Better at Detecting Latent HIV
Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public Health in Pennsylvania have developed a new test that may detect human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) hiding in immune system cells more efficiently. The research was published recently in Nature Medicine.
There are a number of tests available for detecting latent HIV but, according to researchers, this new test—called TZA—is quicker, easier, less expensive, and more efficient. Results are available in just 7 days and in clinical studies, the TZA test detected latent HIV levels 70 percent higher than other tests in people thought to be almost fully cleared of HIV.
Detecting latent HIV has been a major challenge for scientists working to develop a cure for the virus. Current treatments can reduce a person’s viral load to barely detectable levels, but HIV can remain dormant in cells called CD4 T cells—white blood cells that help the body fight infection.