Current Practices in Laboratory Monitoring of HIV Infection

Indian J Med Res. 2011 Dec;134(6):801-22. doi: 10.4103/0971-5916.92627.


After a diagnosis of HIV infection is made, the patient needs to be monitored using both clinical assessment and laboratory markers. HIV/AIDS monitoring is essential in guiding when to recommend initiation of therapy. Clinical monitoring will include staging of the HIV/AIDS disease using either the presence or absence of HIV-related signs and symptoms using the WHO staging system. Various laboratory methods can be used to monitor the disease progression and to guide whether the patient will need antiretroviral therapy or not. Laboratory monitoring for patients who are not on drugs is done to provide information about the stage of illness; to enable the clinician to make decisions on treatment and to give information on prognosis of the patient. Patients on drugs are monitored to assess their response to treatment with antiretroviral drugs and to detect any possible toxicity and improvement associated with the antiretroviral drugs.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active / methods
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • CD4-CD8 Ratio / methods*
  • Developed Countries*
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry / methods*
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis*
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy
  • HIV-1 / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care / methods*
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Sex Factors
  • Viral Load / methods*


  • Biomarkers