Purpose of Review
In this report, we review the need for point-of-care (POC) or near real-time testing for antiretrovirals, progress in the field, evidence for guiding implementation of these tests globally, and future directions in objective antiretroviral therapy (ART) or pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) adherence monitoring.
Two cornerstones to end the HIV/AIDS pandemic are ART, which provides individual clinical benefits and eliminates forward transmission, and PrEP, which prevents HIV acquisition with high effectiveness. Maximizing the individual and public health benefits of these powerful biomedical tools requires high and sustained antiretroviral adherence. Routine monitoring of medication adherence in individuals receiving ART and PrEP may be an important component in interpreting outcomes and supporting optimal adherence. Existing practices and subjective metrics for adherence monitoring are often inaccurate or unreliable and, therefore, are generally ineffective for improving adherence. Laboratory measures of antiretroviral concentrations using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry have been utilized in research settings to assess medication adherence, although these are too costly and resource-intensive for routine use.
Newer, less costly technologies such as antibody-based methods can provide objective drug-level measurement and may allow for POC or near-patient adherence monitoring in clinical settings. When coupled with timely and targeted counseling, POC drug-level measures can support adherence clinic-based interventions to ART or PrEP in near real time.
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Drain, P.K., Bardon, A.R., Simoni, J.M. et al. Point-of-care and Near Real-time Testing for Antiretroviral Adherence Monitoring to HIV Treatment and Prevention. Curr HIV/AIDS Rep 17, 487–498 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11904-020-00512-3
- Antiretroviral therapy (ART)
- Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)
- Point-of-care test