An ongoing dialogue on HIV/AIDS, infectious diseases,
March 20th, 2009
Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow …
Since providers — especially doctors — are notoriously poor at predicting medication adherence, here’s some good news: In a paper from the Women’s Interagency Health Study, protease inhibitor levels in hair samples were the strongest independent predictor of virologic success — better than self-reported adherence, age, race, baseline viral load and CD4 cell count, and prior experience with protease inhibitors.
That’s not all: Dr. Monica Gandhi (the lead investigator) describes the technique:
“We collect a small sample of hair from the back of their head and by small I mean 10 to 15 strands. So we collect after about a month of therapy a small thatch of hair from the back of your head and then grind it up and measure the anti-retroviral in that hair. And that gives us an idea after you start a new regimen whether you have enough in your system,” she says.
And in case you were wondering (were you?):
“One thing that people ask is can we use pubic hair for these measurements. And we don’t think that those are going to be useful because hair in those areas grow to a certain length and then they stop, which is great for anyone who has this hair. But you really want to measure hair that’s sort of growing continuously and that’s really scalp hair,” she says.
Every so often I’m reminded that HIV medicine isn’t like other fields — and that paragraph says it all!
(Hat tip to R Plank for the reference.)
Categories: HIV, Infectious Diseases, Patient Care
Tags: ART, baseline, CD4, Dr. Monica Gandhi, hair samples, HIV, HIV medicine, monica gandhi, predictor, protease inhibitor, protease inhibitors, R Plank, scalp hair, viral load
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
Comments are closed.
Paul E. Sax, MD
NEJM Journal Watch
Biography | Disclosures | Summaries
Learn more about HIV and ID Observations.
Follow HIV and ID Observations Posts via Email
- Really Rapid Review — CROI 2023, Seattle
- Oral Antibiotic Therapy for Endocarditis — Are We There Yet?
- Learning the Names of HIV Drugs Is Horribly Difficult — Here’s Why
- Interferon Lambda for COVID-19 — Looking Good, but Still Not Available
- Medical Masks vs. N95 Respirators for Preventing COVID-19 Among Healthcare Workers
- ID Cartoon Caption Contest (125)
- ID Cartoon Caption Contest #2 Winner — and a New Contest for the Holidays (92)
- Dear Nation — A Series of Apologies on COVID-19 (80)
- How to Induce Rage in a Doctor (77)
- IDSA’s COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Highlight Difficulty of “Don’t Just Do Something, Stand There” (74)
NEJM Journal Watch — Recent Infectious Disease Articles
- Higher COVID-19 Testing Rates for Nursing Home Staff Are Associated with Fewer Resident Infections and Deaths
- PrEP with Tenofovir/Emtricitabine: Safe During Pregnancy
- TB Therapy: How Short Can We Go?
- Cluster of Post–Cardiac Surgery Mycobacterial Infections — Something About the Water?
- Adding Ceftriaxone to Daptomycin for Managing Streptococcus mitis-oralis Endocarditis
- 3tc Abacavir AIDS antibiotics antiretroviral therapy ART atazanavir baseball CDC C diff COVID-19 CROI darunavir dolutegravir elvitegravir etravirine FDA HCV hepatitis C HIV HIV cure HIV testing ID fellowship ID Learning Unit Infectious Diseases influenza Link-o-Rama lyme disease MRSA PEP Policy PrEP prevention primary care raltegravir Really Rapid Review resistance Retrovirus Conference rilpivirine sofosbuvir TDF/FTC tenofovir Thanksgiving vaccines zoster