Hair strands may be a more useful measure of the effectiveness of antiretroviral drugs than blood tests or patient queries, according to new findings from researchers at the University of California-San Francisco and reported by VOA News.
The researchers found that hair samples strongly correlate with HIV levels in patients and can help indicate whether patients are taking adequate doses of antiretroviral drugs.
One of the researchers, Monica Gandhi, told VOA that they collect 10 to 15 strands for each test, grind up the hair, and measure the antiretroviral levels. The results may be more reliable than patients’ own memories, and blood samples, which vary from day to day, depending on a patient’s diet and whether they’re taking other medication.
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