HIV Viral Load Monitoring Among Key Populations in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: Challenges and Opportunities

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Schwartz S.R. et al. JIAS (2017), 20(S7): e25003. doi:10.1002/jia2.25003.

Key populations bear a disproportionate HIV burden and have substantial unmet treatment needs. Viral load (VL) data can be used as an advocacy tool to demonstrate differences in service delivery and to promote allocation of resources to disproportionately affected key populations and communities with suboptimal health outcomes. However, efforts must be taken so that routine VL monitoring among marginalized populations does not cause inadvertent harm. The authors of this commentary conclude that opportunities for expanded VL monitoring could and should benefit all those affected by HIV, including key populations and that increasing routinization of VL monitoring can be a tool to advance HIV treatment equity.