By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com September 20 2002 12:00 AM ET
Officials at drugmaker Bayer this week announced that the company has received Food and Drug Administration approval to market a test that can detect the blood-based viral loads of all major strains of HIV. The test, called Versant HIV-1 RNA 3.0 Assay, detects viral genetic material in the blood and can be used worldwide because it can identify HIV RNA from all major subtypes of the virus. HIV viral load measurements are key indicators of HIV disease progression and of the effectiveness of antiretroviral therapy treatment. HIV-positive patients taking anti-HIV drugs should have regular viral load tests to ensure that their combination therapy is effectively suppressing viral replication.