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A KwaZulu-Natal-based medical research organisation has developed an improved method to accurately predict where the highest rate of new HIV infections will likely occur in a community.

The Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI) said in a statement that this innovative set of measurements would help to target treatment and prevention resources and interventions where they are most needed.

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“In the paper, published in the scientific journal Science Translational Medicine, the researchers show that Population Viral Load (PVL) measures, which have previously been used to try to predict the intensity of new HIV infections in a particular area, do not accurately predict HIV incidence in a rural South African setting.”

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They proposed and rigorously tested a set of modified indices, which considered variations in viral load patterns as well as the proportion of the population already infected with HIV, and found this gave a strong prediction of high incidence.


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