Viral Counts Count in HIV Infection

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Science  24 May 1996:
Vol. 272, Issue 5265, pp. 1124-1125
DOI: 10.1126/science.272.5265.1124


A single measurement of the amount of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in a patient's blood can predict the subsequent risk of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) or death, even before the patient shows signs of the disease—so reports a paper (Mellors et al., p.1167) in this issue. In his Perspective, Ho discusses why this is the case and why measurement of viral loads will become extremely useful clinically.