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Despite availability of effective antiretroviral therapy (ART), many HIV patients still have a detectable viral load (VL). Predictive factors of detectable VL are not well documented. This study was done at two large multidisciplinary HIV outpatient clinics at the Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM) and the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC). This is a retrospective case-control study of patients treated between 2016 and 2018. Cases had a VL ≥50 copies/mL in 2018. Controls had an undetectable VL from 2016 to 2018. Matching was based on gender and year of HIV diagnosis. Primary objective was to identify predictive factors of detectable VL. Secondary objectives included to identify predictive factors of virologic failure, low persistent viremia, and viral blip. A forward stepwise model selection by the Akaike Information Criterion of the conditional logistic regression was used to identify predictive factors. Two hundred cases were identified and matched with 200 controls. The cohort was mostly male (68.0%) with a median age of 54 years (21-83 years). Among cases, viral blip was the most common type of detectable VL (43.0%). The strong predictive factors for a detectable VL were adherence to ART and seeking health care services. Asylum seekers were less at risk of detectable VL. Adherence to ART was the only strong predictive factor for virologic failure. Three main predictive factors of detectable VL were identified in two ambulatory clinic hospitals in Montreal. Ascertaining these factors will allow for identification of patients more at risk of detectable VL.


Audrey Bouchard, François Bourdeau, Julien Roger, Vincent-Thierry Taillefer, Nancy L Sheehan, Mireille Schnitzer, Guanbo Wang, Imma Judy Jean Baptiste François, Rachel Therrien. Predictive Factors of Detectable Viral Load in HIV-Infected Patients. AIDS research and human retroviruses. 2022 Jul;38(7):552-560

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PMID: 34538065

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