Viral Load FAQ
Is ExaVir Load a type of CD4 test?
No. ExaVir Load is an HIV viral load test. Viral load data provides information that can’t be seen with CD4 tests. Monitoring viral load helps doctors know when to start ARV therapy and when to switch drugs that are no longer working. This can help prolong a patient’s productive years, make ARV supplies go further and help slow the emergence of drug-resistant strains of HIV. That’s why viral load testing is a routine part of HIV management in developed nations and should be in the rest of the world as well.
Is ExaVir Load a so-called “rapid test”?
No. The term “rapid test” refers to certain qualitative tests used for the initial diagnosis of HIV infection. A “rapid test” simply determines if a patient is infected with HIV or not. ExaVir Load is a quantitative test. It provides a measurement of how much virus is present in the blood of a patient who has already been diagnosed with HIV infection.
Why is viral load testing not done in many countries?
While routinely performed in developed nations, viral load monitoring has not been performed in developing nations due to the costs and complexity surrounding the traditional nucleic acid-based testing methods. These methods require investment in equipment and special lab facilities that are impractical in many resource-limited settings. Also, viral load testing is most advantageous to help doctors decide when to start or switch antiretroviral drugs (ARVs). These drugs have not been widely available in many countries.
How does ExaVir Load make monitoring more accessible?
ExaVir Load makes viral load monitoring practical by not requiring dedicated rooms or special laboratory environments to protect against contamination. It is affordable, robust and specifically designed to function in the conditions found in the average resource-limited clinic. And because ExaVir Load measures RT activity, it can detect all HIV types and subtypes. The need for this type of test will continue to increase in-step with the rising availability of ARVs in the developing world.
Is ExaVir Load being used today?
Yes. The test has been in use since 2002. It is routinely used in clinics found in Kenya, Botswana and Zambia, among others. Benchmark studies have proven it to be as accurate as any HIV viral load test available today.
Does Cavidi advocate doing more viral load testing?
Yes. Viral load testing helps prolong a patient’s productive years, makes ARV supplies go further and slows the emergence of drug-resistant strains of HIV. These benefits should be universally accessible regardless of setting, and not only in the developed world. Now, for the first time, ExaVir Load offers these advantages to the rest of the world.
How is ExaVir Load Version 3 different than previous versions?
Version 3 is 30% faster to run and allows up to 50% more tests to be processed per week.
What is Cavidi’s goal with ExaVir Load?
To ensure that every patient who has access to ARVs also has access to viral load testing.